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The Friends of the AWI (la Societe des Amis de l'Institut du Monde Arabe, SAIMA) is a non-profit association created in to support the mission of the Arab World Institute.
In order to promote creativity in the Arab world, the Friends of the AWI created the 'SAIMA Award for Arab contemporary creation'. The aim of this Award is to reward artists in the states of the Arab League whose work and ceuvre are still relatively unknown.
The Award also aims to contribute to the development and dissemination of the AWI's cultural activities: it will be organized each year in conjunction with a specific event in the AWI's programme. The 'SAIMA Award' may be awarded for any form of artistic expression that features in the AWI's programme of events.
The winner will be selected as part of a call for projects and will be offered a grant for the creation of a work, which will then be presented at the AWI.
The 2016 edition of the 'SAIMA Award for contemporary creation' will be organized in conjunction with the exhibition 'Les Jardins arabo-musulmans. Source de modernite' , which will be inaugurated in April 2016 at the AWI.
Visitors will discover a large garden of Arab inspiration on the AWI's forecourt; anamorphosis will be created with 'the cube' as its viewpoint. Visitors will then enter the AWI building and discover a heritage and artistic exhibition that will retrace the origins and history of the 'Arab garden', and the role it currently plays in the societies of Arab countries. The exhibition will shed light on major issues such as ecology, urban planning, and territorial development in the towns and cities of the Arab world.
Participants will therefore need to present a project that addresses one of the following themes:
- The role of gardens in traditional Arab towns and cities
- The role of Arab gardens in contemporary town planning
- Arab gardens and sustainable development
Participation in the competition is exclusively reserved for candidates who fulfil the following conditions:
- They must be nationals of one the following countries: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, or Yemen;
- they must have less than ten years' experience as a practising artist;
- and their artwork must never have featured in a monograph.
The candidates will be required to submit to the panel an art project associated with one of the following disciplines: painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, video, or an installation.
Candidates will be required to complete an application form written in French or English.
The application dossiers must be sent to the address below and must arrive no later than 15 December 2015:
The Society of the Friends of the AWI (SAIMA)
1, rue des fosses Saint Bernard
Place Mohamed V
75236 Paris Cedex 5
The Award will be presented during a ceremony that will be held at the Arab World Institute. The Award winner will be invited to travel from their place of residence (flight and accommodation costs will be covered) and stay in Paris for two days.
The Award winner will receive an activity grant that will be used exclusively to create the work that was presented as a project to the panel.
This grant will be a maximum of € 5,000. It will be allotted in accordance with the detailed breakdown of the budget presented by the candidate.
Half of the sum shall be given to the Award winner within fifteen (15) days of the Award presentation ceremony and the remainder upon completion of the project. The organisers reserve the right to ask the artist to provide them with detailed proof of their expenses.
The work in question will be featured in the exhibition—for the duration of the event—entitled 'Les Jardins arabo-musulmans. Source de modernite', which will be organised by the Arab World Institute from April to October 2016.
Deadline for submissions:
Deadline: 15 December 2015
The Society of the Friends of the AWI(SAIMA)
Tel.: +33 (0)1 40 51 38 93 E-mail:
For artists from:
Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, or Yemen
The Award winner will receive a production grant that will be used exclusively to create the work that was presented as a project to the panel.
This grant will be a maximum of € 5,000
The work in question will be featured in the exhibition 'Les Jardins arabo-musulmans. Source de modernite' organised by
the Arab World Institute
April to October 2016.