Zoukak launched Focus Liban in 2015, as a platform to support the presentation and dissemination of the work of local performing artists. As a direct result of this showcase, local artists’ works were presented in various prestigious festivals around Europe.
Building on the success of the first edition, in 2016 ten grants were given to artists from the fields of dance, theatre and music, residing in Lebanon who were invited to perform their finished works or works-in-progress and to present ideas of their new projects in the presence of international curators and festival directors, in addition to the general Lebanese public, as part of Zoukak Sidewalks-The Festival. This opened the door again for artists to be programmed in various festivals and venues around the world and to text their new ideas with a small professional public.
Applications were accepted from all performing artists residing in Lebanon, regardless of their nationalities and cultural backgrounds: Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Kurdish, Armenian, Sudanese, Egyptian, Iraqi, Moroccan, French, Romanian, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Pilipino, Ghanaian, Kenyan, Somali, Ethiopian and other. The projects considered were in various languages: Arabic, English, French, Armenian and/or other.
The aim of this initiative is to disseminate and develop local performing arts practices, while redefining the Lebanese society on the basis of diversity and the multicity of cultures and identities that constitute it.