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Ibn Battûta Artistic Alliance


On 19th and 20th June 2014 six independent cultural mobility funds from different parts of the world met in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands).


Tenerife 2014


The idea of the meeting was initiated by the Roberto Cimetta Fund, in partnership with the Association of Cultural Managers of the Canary Islands. The Government of the Island of Tenerife and the Government of the Canary Islands backed the initiative as well as the Gulbenkian Foundation.


The international mobility actors present were the Safar Fund (Arab world), Art Moves Africa (Africa), CEC ArtsLink (USA), the Russian Theatre Union (Russia), Arts Network Asia (Asia) and the Roberto Cimetta Fund (Euro-Arab zone).  


These organisations defined a common framework that can be downloaded here.  To advance their agenda they agreed to work as a coalition and advocate and encourage the dissemination of the principles written down in the Canary Islands Declaration on Culture and Artistic Mobility.


Independent mobility funds are re-granting organisations set up by cultural operators. These funds re-grant funding received from private foundations or public institutions to individual artists and cultural operators.

This Declaration also exists in Arabic/العربيةFrench/français,  Hindi/हिन्दी ,Indonesian/Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese/日本の, Mandarin/普通話, Portuguese/português, Russian/ русский.


In 2015 the Roberto Cimetta Fund decided to launch the SEAAA, a second step in alleviating funding obstacles by grouping together mobility funding partners to address the challenges together. SEAAA[1] initiative aims to widen the funding possibilities of exchange for artists and cultural operators travelling between the Euro-Arab geographical zone and other parts of the world.


 Facilitating and providing equal access to this mobility, through allocation of individual travel grants, is a way of ensuring that arts and culture flourish in the four corners of the globe, increasing the autonomy and emergence of artists and cultural operators, and allowing for international artistic exchanges to develop. This meeting was made possible thanks to the financial commitments of the Asia-Europe Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts and Korea Arts Management Service as well as the logistic support of Theatre Entropia and Theatre 104 in Athens, Greece.


The Asian, European and Arab member organisations of this alliance met for the first time in Athens on 30th & 31st March 2015. 41 participants from 19 countries took part (Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Lebanon, Malta, The Netherlands, Palestine, Pakistan, The Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia). The members of the alliance are: Arts Network Asia, Asia-Europe Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts, India Foundation for the Arts, Korea Arts Management Service, Roberto Cimetta Fund, Russian Theatre Union, Valletta, ECOC 2018. Funding bodies and arts organisations involved in international exchange also took part such as the European Cultural Foundation, Art Moves Africa, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines, India for Transformation, Vasl Artists’ Collective, Kulturanova Foundation.


« SEAAA Mobility is a great initiative attempting to bridge the gaps in mobility funding. A lot still needs to be done in the area of mobility funding; RCF and its partners have set the first steps and are working towards future collaboration. » - participant of the meeting.


The discussions focused on setting up a first joint open call entitled Ibn Battûta[3] Artistic Mobility Funding Alliance, on defining common values and fine-tuning advocacy statements in support of our initiative.


The final report is available here.  The members agree to meet again in Seoul and Bangalore. A cultural mapping process will be lead to identify mobility needs and provide statistical data to demonstrate the demand. Emergency mobility needs will also be defined through the Alliance.


[1] Southern Europe, the Arab geographical zone, Asia and Australia

[3] Famous 14th century traveller


What do we do?

Presentation of RCF |  | Partners