Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, is a non-profit organization based in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 1993, the association has been committed to contemporary artistic practice, research, and modes of study. The association aims to facilitate artistic production, foster critical thinking around contemporary social realities, and engage in community mobilization.
Their mission is to create exchange networks between artistic and cultural practitioners and institutions, build an archival record of artistic and intellectual endeavors in Lebanon and the region, support emerging and established artists by providing the necessary resources for the development of ideas and work, rethink art education, help enrich critical discourse in the Arabic language, as well as provide support for independent initiatives working in and around the civic and political realms.
Ashkal Alwan’s platforms include the Home Works Forum on Cultural Practices, curated projects in Lebanon and abroad, the publication of literary works and artists’ books, residency programs, art production grants, and a monthly newsletter. Ashkal Alwan has also supported the documentation of an unprecedented archival record of contemporary intellectual and creative endeavors, available through its public research archive. Through these initiatives and others, the association has established itself as a reference within the cultural landscape of the region and beyond.
Ashkal Alwan’s programs include Home Works, a multidisciplinary forum on cultural practices taking place every three years; Home Workspace Program, a tuition-free annual study program for emerging artists; Video Works, an annual video production grant, and a mentoring and screening platform; a residency program for artists and cultural practitioners; the publication of literary works and artist books. Their educational and production platforms are accessible to the public. Their facilities include auditoria, editing studios, performance spaces, a library featuring a unique collection on contemporary artistic, cultural, and textual practices in Lebanon and beyond, and an extensive audio-visual archive.