The three month long residency included access to EFA's Studio spaces, introductions to artists and curators through studio visits and collaborations, accommodation and travel costs, as well as a stipend for living expenses in New York City. These ongoing residency programs aim to connect Middle Eastern artists with new audiences, and to explore interconnected stories that link ideas and people across physical and psychological borders. Edge of Arabia and Art Jameel launched their first US based artist residency in collaboration with the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in the summer of 2014.
During the EFA residency Husam directed three short films, for which Salar composed original scores. Two of the films took viewers on a journey into New York City's neighbourhoods of Little Syria and Harlem through the perspective of selected artists whose practice is inspired by these historical landscapes. The third film was a Telfaz11 video diary of the Armory Show through the perspective of artists participating in the FOCUS: MENAM section of the fair.
These films were screened via FREEWAY, the online broadcast platform of Edge of Arabia's ongoing US Tour in partnership with Art Jameel. FREEWAY launched in New York in March 2015, in conjunction with The Armory Show Focus: Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean (MENAM), of which Art Jameel is Education Partner and Edge of Arabia was Lead Cultural Partner.
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Husam Al-Sayed (b. 1984 Palestine) is a Saudi-based Palestinian filmmaker, musician and founding member of the Telfaz 11, one of the Middle East's most influential Arabic online video networks based in Riyadh. With over seven million subscribers and over 750 million views throughout its network, Telfaz11 has attracted and helped launch some of the top creative internet talent in the Middle East.
Salar Ansari (b. Tehran, Iran) is a Dubai-based Iranian performance artist, electronic music composer and founding member of the Analog Room, a DJ and music platform in the Middle East with an international residency program for electronic music composers. Since launching in 2012, Analog Room has cultivated an extensive network of regional-grown electronic music composers and generated increased awareness about the medium.
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