Khadija El Bennaoui, Director
Khadija El Bennaoui is a cultural practitioner with more than eighteen years of experience in the arts and culture sectors. With roots in theatre performance and an ongoing practice as a producer and curator, she is committed to working with artists to improve the conditions for their creativity to flourish. Since January 2020, she has been Head of Performing Arts at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.
As a consultant, Khadija has contributed her expertise in cultural cooperation, grant-making, cultural policy research and program design to missions led by EUNIC, the Ford Foundation, the European Cultural Foundation, Mimeta, Med Culture, UNESCO, the European Commission and more. Through these various missions, she has worked to strengthen South-South networks and cooperation, imagine and implement new, sustainable models of funding, and support the vibrancy of independent arts spaces and networks.
An important strand of Khadija’s career has been devoted to improving the conditions for artists’ mobility, in particular within the Global South. She launched Art Moves Africa in 2005, going on to facilitate hundreds of travel projects and advocate widely for the importance of strengthening mobility in Africa. At the same time, she played a key role in the development of the Young Arab Theatre Fund (now Mophradat). Khadija is the author of the chapter “Surviving the paradoxes of mobility,” which was commissioned as part of the 2018 Global Report monitoring the implementation of the 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
She holds a B.A. in Arabic Studies from Ibnou Zohr University (Morocco), a B.A. in Cultural Management from Hassan II University (Morocco) and a European Diploma in Cultural Management from the Marcel Hicter Foundation (Brussels).
Lara Bourdin, Coordinator – Research and Publications, and Grants (by interim)
Lara Bourdin is an art writer, researcher and translator. Her areas of focus are the arts and culture of the Global South, arts mobility and issues surrounding migration. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Latin American Studies at McGill University and Sorbonne-Université, focusing on artistic exchanges between Latin America and Africa. She holds a Master 2 in Brazilian and Luso-African studies from Sorbonne-Université (2020) and an M.A. in Art History from the Université de Montréal (2013).
She is currently an independent member and researcher for cultural mobility network On the Move, where she has completed research and translation toward guides to cultural mobility funding opportunities in Africa, Taiwan, Latin America and Digital Arts. Her past experiences and collaborations include coordination and program support work for refugee youth organizations in Nampula, Mozambique, through UNHCR, research on intercultural programmes offered to refugee and immigrant populations in Montréal, and writing for the Amsterdam-based African investigative journalism platform ZAM as well as other arts and culture publications.
As coordinator of research and publications since 2014, Lara has coordinated and developed AMA’s research activities on mobility and touring in Africa.
Rajaa Essaghiry, Coordinator – Communications
AMA’s incoming Board members will be announced soon.
Past Board members (2005-2020)
- Tarek Abou El Fetouh (Egypt)
- Nicky du Plessis (South Africa)
- Blaise Etoa Tsanga (Cameroon)
- Luc Mayitoukou (Congo/Senegal)
- Mariam Mayoumbila (Chad)
- Farai Mpfunya (Zimbabwe)
- Judy Ogana (Kenya)
- Mohamed Yousri (Egypt)