Ettijahat – Independent Culture was founded in 2011 to support the independent cultural sector in Syria. It has since positioned itself to become a leading cultural institution supporting the independent arts sector in the Arab region. Ettijahat delivers projects which provide and facilitate artistic production, training, employment, legal security, research, access to culture, engagement in digital space, and community arts development. It aims to enable and empower artists and cultural actors, improve inclusivity across the Arab arts scene, and make Arab art and culture more accessible to local and international audiences.
Over the past ten years, the organisation’s roles, aims and activities have matured and developed drastically: the non-governmental organisation now supports not only Syrian artists and cultural practitioners, but increasingly their peers of all nationalities across the Arab region and in Europe. Today, the organisation focuses more on looking beyond Syria and sharing stories of positivity, learning and rebirth in the face of catastrophe. In this regard, Ettijahat’s main objectives are to amplify the voices of those who are forgotten, marginalised and absent in contemporary cultural life and to provide them with opportunities for education, cultural engagement and participation in the arts, thus making the regional arts and culture sector more diverse, representative and active in international dialogue on injustice in the Global South. In doing so, Ettijahat hopes to demonstrate the supportive roles arts and culture can play in society when it is accessible, diverse and prosperous.