Ras Masqa

RAS MASQA ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE (RMAR)

As part of its ‘Museum in the Making’ initiative, APEAL organized a one-month artists-in-residence program that took place from March 18 to April 18, 2016, in the north Lebanese village of Ras Masqa in collaboration with the Temporary Art Platform (T.A.P)

The program focused on the theme of art education and used taking the village of Ras Masqa and its surroundings as the site of exploration. An open call led to the selection of six participants by the jury. The artists in residence conducted research and implemented their proposals during their stay in Ras Masqa, giving greater time and depth to exploring the local context.

Learn more about the artists here.

THE RESIDENCY

The six participants conducted research and implemented proposals during their month-long stay in the village, giving greater time and depth to exploring the local context.

Proposals addressed the context and used a participatory approach to create an access point for the public to engage with the art. Taken outside the urban context, the participatory nature of the projects led to the development of greater awareness of contemporary art, while engaging with the different communities of the village.

Areas explored included the question of how pedagogy can emerge through contemporary artistic practice, how projects can create a wider awareness of contemporary art within a rural community, and, in turn, how a rural community can inform a project.

Parallel events took place with the residency’s partners – the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts (North Branch) - in the village and included a public series of lectures, events, workshops targeting university students and the local communities.

The program was tailored to meet the needs of the artists in residence and the students alike, thus creating bridges between the informal education format of artistic practice and research and the academic program of the Lebanese University.

You can read further details here.

The residency provided participants with a proper working environment and support on both the production and curatorial levels in order to develop or complete their projects.

Most importantly, it offered liaison with a network of partners for engagement with the village’s different communities. The public program further enriched the residency through discursive input, which was based upon and developed according to the projects proposed by the participants.

The artists were presented with numerous opportunities to explore Ras Masqa and interact with its inhabitants. This included visits to the village’s industrial zone and tours of several factories that produce tissue paper, traditional sweets and flour. They were also taken on a tour of Tripoli.

In addition to the field trips, participants had working sessions with prominent Lebanese artists, who visited the residency. Some participants also led workshops with university students and residents from the village.

The participants decided to organize an Open Studio day to mark the last day of the residency. This allowed them to present the research and experiments they had undertaken during the course of the month, as some of them had worked on site-specific projects.

The Open Studio was particularly successful and lead to great deal of interaction and exchange between people of different background, ages, and generations.

The Open Studio program can be downloaded here.

The artists also submitted contributions to Ibraaz, where greater detail about the works produced, are available.

Ras Masqa

ABOUT RAS MASQA

The village of Ras Masqa is located on the outskirts of Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli. In Arabic, its name refers to the numerous springs in the area and the village overlooks the Abi Halka Al-Fawwar spring, which provides water to the city. Two hundred years ago, the southern part of the village was first settled by Christians and today, the village is mixed, divided geographically between a Southern and Northern part inhabited by Christians and Muslims, respectively. Currently, about 70% of Ras Masqa’s residents are of Tripolitan origin, the result of a slow but increasing migration over the course of the last decade.

These days, urban expansion has effectively made it a suburb of Tripoli but it still retains a rural identity. Located near the Northern Highway close to the sea, Ras Masqa is growing increasingly industrial and the suburban area of which it now forms a part, Bahsas, is know as an industrial area.

The village is also home to a number of important higher educational institutions and a mix of public and private schools as well as health and social institutions.