Updated on 11/01/2022
The NAFAS programme, 100 residencies for Lebanese artists in France, a scheme run by the Institut français, has been developed in partnership with six local authorities. The Hauts-de-France Region has joined forces with the Institut français to host two residencies in 2021.
Following the devastating explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020, which plunged the country into a major humanitarian, political and economic crisis, the Hauts-de-France Region took part in the international aid mission in the days following the disaster by helping the Lebanese people undertake the most urgent reconstruction work.
This acute ongoing crisis has also affected the Lebanese cultural scene. As a partner for many years, the Hauts-de-France Region has naturally become involved with the Institut français in the "NAFAS" emergency programme, which aims to support Lebanese artists for residencies throughout mainland France.
The Hauts-de-France Region has therefore offered several cultural establishments in its territory as places of residence for the NAFAS programme. The hosting of foreign artists in residence is one of the main axes of regional cultural policy: to be a creative region welcoming emerging artists, to make the Hauts-de-France a "Place of cultural influence" and to promote a local cultural offering in coordination with the territories and their inhabitants. Artists' residencies are schemes put forward by the Hauts-de-France Region to promote creation and to enable artists and audiences to meet in regional areas, particularly those with little artistic presence.
The IMA-Tourcoing welcomes the NAFAS programme
Françoise Cohen, director of the IMA-Tourcoing, testifies to the benefits of this artist's residency for her team but especially for the metropolitan area, particularly through its activities with young people. Ghadi Ghosn worked with middle and high school students throughout his residency. Their work focused on the notion of Heroes, in line with the current IMA-Tourcoing exhibition: Images de héros, on view until 9 January 2022. The Lebanese artist worked at the Collège Albert Roussel (REP+ school) with a class of Year 8 pupils and with the Comics Club at the Lycée Jean Rostand in Roubaix. The aim of their workshops was to create a hero and then produce the first episode of a comic strip! The students showed a real interest in Ghadi Ghosn's work and are now familiar with the process involved in creating a comic strip. But beyond learning the techniques of comics, Françoise Cohen reminds us that the human encounter was also highly beneficial to all these young students.
Diaphane and the FRAC Picardie, host of the NAFAS programme
Lebanese artist Laetitia El Hakim took up residency in the heart of rural Picardy from 27 September to 20 December 2021. Hosted and supported by Diaphane, she spent a long time criss-crossing the surrounding countryside to develop her artistic project. It was while hiking and travelling in the Oise region, taking photographs and talking about Lebanese women, French women, and women in general, that the seeds of a project gradually took shape, with Picardy's nature taking on a very special role.