Art Moves Africa: the Mobility Fund of Artists & Cultural Operators within Africa

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AMA is a small organization that focuses its limited resources on grants for artists and arts professionals in Africa. As such, its staff members work on a semi-voluntary basis. For this reason we request your patience as we may not be able to respond to emails immediately.


Khadija El Bennaoui, Director

Independent consultant, researcher and curator with a focus on the global south.

Khadija El Bennaoui came to the arts & culture sector through theatre when she was playing in her university's troupe in Agadir between 1994 and 1997. After wining a prize as a best actress, and after obtaining her B.A in Arabic Studies, she left her native city to explore the backstage world of theatre and to study cultural management and policies in Casablanca and in Paris (1998-2002).

Her passion for travels and for meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds helped her to develop intercultural skills, to learn other languages and to acquire an ability to adapt to different contexts, which has resulted in the successful implementation of various missions in Africa, the Arab world and Cuba for a range of organizations such as AMI, the European Cultural Foundation, Arterial Network, Culture Resource and Mimeta…etc.

From 2005 to 2012, she played a major role in developing support for the mobility of cultural practitioners within Africa as the Administrator of Art Moves Africa (AMA) mobility fund. In parallel to her work in Africa, she was a consultant and project manager to the Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF), convening and managing four successful and important symposia for members of independent arts and culture spaces in Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

After seven years of working in support of intra-African mobility and of traveling across Africa, the Arab world and Central America, she decided in November 2012 to get immersed in the EU milieu in Brussels. As MENA program coordinator at EUNIC until April 2014, she had the opportunity to learn about the functioning, policies and diversity of EU national institutes for culture.

In May 2014, El Bennaoui came back to work with Art Moves Africa (AMA) to re-launch the mobility grants program that had been put on stand-by because of the global funding cuts on culture. Her main tasks are general management and restructuring of the organisation, fundraising, programs development and advocacy.



Samah Hijawi, Coordinator - Grants program

Samah Hijawi is an artist, researcher and curator. Since 2005 she has been collaborating with Ola El-Khalidi and Diala Khasawneh on the programming and management of Makan art space, an independent space dedicated to the facilitation and production of arts and culture in Amman. In 2012, she initiated the on-going curatorial platform "the river has two banks" with Shuruq Harb and Toleen Touq, to create and facilitate multiple occasions for discussions and presentations that address the growing distance between practitioners in Jordan and Palestine. Her visual practice and writing explore oral and visual expressions in relation to trauma and dislocation in the Levantine Arab region, with a specific focus on shifts in subject matter and aesthetics in Arab art in correlation with important political moments in the region. Her works have been shown in: Aleppo art Space - Brussels, Beureau Europa - Masstricht, MoMa and Apex Art - New York; Darat al Funun and Al Balad Theater - Amman; Beirut Art Center - Beirut; Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Birzeit University Museum - Ramallah; Luisiana Museum - Copenhagen; and The Onasis Center - Athens.