Sharjah Art Foundation announces open call for 3rd edition of FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant

The grant is issued in conjunction with the annual FOCAL POINT Art Book Fair



- Sharjah Art Foundation has invited art and cultural scholars, independent publishers and publishing houses, collectives and public institutions to submit proposals for a project that will contribute to the production of original ideas and critical thinking and will take an experimental and innovative approach to publishing in the broader discourse on art and culture.

The 2021 edition of the FOCAL POINT Publishing Grant has extended the foundation’s mission to provide opportunities that contribute to interdisciplinary publishing practices in the region. The grant is committed to supporting printed matter that stands out for its intellectual, graphic and material qualities.

The grant is issued in conjunction with the annual FOCAL POINT Art Book Fair which showcases printed matter by artists, writers, scholars and publishers from the UAE, the MEASA (Middle East, Africa, and South Asia) region and across the world. The fair will take place from 9th to 11th December, 2021, at Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Arts Square.

The foundation will provide a total of US$30,000 to multiple grantees in addition to publishing and distribution support across the following three categories: Long-form essays (6,000+ words) that will utilise unpublished original research or offer new readings of ideas and themes pertaining to solidarity within Global South networks, such as the MEASA region; underrepresented histories, or a new collection or anthology. The grant-winning essay will be printed in a small reader format.

Reproduction of small publications, specifically any avant-garde experimental art that requires translation. It includes publications that have been out of print for the last ten years and could be revised, updated and supplemented with a new academic introduction. Publications in languages other than English are encouraged to apply.

The newly added experimental publications category has invited printed matter on a variety of topics and media, including but not limited to: cookbooks, picture books, personal anecdotes, travelogues, geography books, artist zines, comics, graphic novels, children’s books, illustrated material and combinations of the above or any other type. While the final project must be in a printed format, an e-book version or digital reading component is encouraged.

Since its establishment in 2009, Sharjah Art Foundation has published various books on modern and contemporary art, including artist books, exhibition catalogues and critical essays. The foundation supports the research-based efforts of visiting artists, curators and scholars year-round and publishes catalogues for biennials and curated exhibitions, available to audiences interested in contemporary art and publishing.

The 2020 grant recipients were Ali Essafi, Ridha Moumni, Gabriella Nugent and h?k?r?, selected from more than 100 submissions. The winners shared a total of $27,000 that supported research projects in the Long-Form Essay and Publication Reprint categories. In line with the overarching theme of Sharjah Biennial 15, which is highlighted in its title - Thinking Historically in the Present - the grant’s open call was directed towards supporting art historical research focusing on global modernism in the MEASA region. Individual scholars, research teams, publishing houses and public institutions were all invited to submit proposals.

The application deadline is 23:59 (GST), 15th November, 2021.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.

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