Since 2003, Iraqis living abroad have made significant contributions to Iraq’s development through transnational political and social engagement; the sending of remittances to their families; investment in various sectors of the Iraqi economy; and the transfer of knowledge and skills to institutions in Iraq.

Art is yet another outlet for diaspora members to connect with their homeland communities. Diaspora artists — through their creativity, talent and proposals – can engage in dialogue and break stereotypes by building bridges between cultures. Diaspora artists can engage in dialogue and break stereotypes by building bridges between cultures. They can also become agents of change for their communities, and foster new dialogue between countries of origin and the host countries — as well as between the societies they come from and those that welcome them.

Under the framework of the USAID-funded project “Supporting the return of displaced population in Ninewa Plains and West Ninewa”, IOM is offering Iraqi diaspora artists and cultural practitioners the opportunity to travel to Iraq and implement short projects on the theme of Iraqi identity and migration, in order to exchange knowledge, forge new connections, raise awareness, celebrate diversity, and encourage the creative use of art and culture for social transformation and development.

This call for applications is open to members of the Iraqi diaspora, and proposals can cover a range of different traditional and contemporary artistic and cultural expressions, including: literature, poetry, short film, photography, painting, visual arts, comics, music, dance, theatre, or other creative media productions.

The projects, which should be implemented in Iraq, may include exhibitions, workshops, training courses, productions, and other collaborative events and initiatives.

Thematic focus: This initiative is part of a project in which the role of Iraqi diaspora in perspectives on displacement, migration and return is explored. More specifically, the project aims to (re)acquaint Iraqi artists living abroad with various migration themes; explore the dualities of minorities living abroad and belonging in Iraq; and encourages Iraqi artists to fosters discussions of these topics through art.

Art can evoke nostalgia for the homeland and serve as a medium for reliving particular memories. Art can also break down prejudices and promote engagement towards identities related to the homeland.

Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2020

Duration: Project should be completed by 30 June 2021

How to apply: Complete and submit the form below

Budget: IOM will provide to the selected candidates the required budget to realize the proposed initiative up to a maximum of 5,000 USD. If two or more artists would like to apply, the maximum budget available is 10,000 USD. In addition to the 5,000 USD, if travel to Iraq is part of the project (and feasible in current circumstances) IOM Iraq will directly cover travel costs and per diem, venue hire, catering, etc.

Location: Applicants can reside anywhere, but their initiatives should be developed in Iraq. Selected artists will also be invited by IOM to participate in a final exhibition in Iraq; accommodation and other expenses (meals, transportation in Iraq) will be covered by IOM.