Art Market

Relief funds were launched to support Beirut’s art community, which was devastated by the recent explosions.

Daria Simone Harper
Aug 11, 2020 3:41PM, via The Art Newspaper

An aerial view shows the massive damage at the port in Beirut following a massive explosion there. Photo by AFP via Getty Images.

Brussels-based nonprofit Mophradat started a fundraising campaign to aid artists and arts organizations in Beirut in the wake of the explosions that devastated the city last week. Mophradat, led by Lebanese artist Walid Raad, fosters opportunities and support for Arab artists. According to a spokeswoman for the organization, Mophradat plans to land on concrete priorities as the scope of necessary aid becomes clearer and is asking for suggestions on specific arts initiatives that need support.

Raad, Mophradat’s president, and Mai Abu ElDahab, the organization’s director, said in a joint statement:

We set up this fund to gather resources for what’s to come as we know that our peers, colleagues and friends from all over the world are wanting to contribute. We are reaching out to those who know us already and trust our commitment to distributing the funds in transparent and flexible ways (keeping in mind the collapsing financial and banking system in Lebanon).

Mophradat is not the only arts initiative offering relief to those impacted by the explosions in Beirut. Artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani, the joint winners of the 2019 Turner Prize, donated two limited-edition prints to an aid fundraiser, Art Relief 4 Beirut. Organised by artist Mohamad Kanaan, Art Relief 4 Beirut has received artwork contributions from more than 20 other artists.

A spokeswoman for Mophradat told The Art Newspaper:

We will direct 100% of the funds to arts individuals and institutions while keeping in the spirit of our mandate, to support artists and thinkers, feminists and queer people and initiatives, and provide tools to help sustain their practices rather than focus on individual projects.

Support Mophradat's Beirut Art Fund by clicking here.

Daria Simone Harper
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019