LAAF 2022 Artist Callout

Liverpool Arab Arts Festival (LAAF) is inviting artistic proposals for our 2022 festival.

The festival will be held in July, 2022 and it will be twenty years since the first Liverpool Arab Arts Festival was held in the city.

Whether in Liverpool or online, we work with Arab artists who are living and / or working in the UK, in an Arab country or within its communities, or identify as having Arab heritage. 

As a festival, we work with artists across a range of artforms, including: music, performance, theatre, literature, spoken word, visual art and more. You can see examples of previous festival programmes on our website.

Proposals can be in any of these artforms. Outputs can include live or digital performances, events, artworks, exhibitions, workshops, public realm works, talks, panel discussions or young people’s activities. The deadline to apply is 7 January 2022. 

Festival Theme

Next year our theme explores our language, how it sits at the heart of our culture, but also how we use it to connect. How we understand each other, how we come together to engage and cross our cultural boundaries. This is how we create a bridge, connecting language and culture. It is how we discover what we have in common and how we communicate. If language is at the foundation of our culture and identity, how we translate to understand each other provides a valuable meeting point.

By its very nature, translation is not purely rooted in language. It can be how we navigate our mixed identities, how we code-switch, changing how we speak and appear when in different situations.

The way we, and our language, is translated, can be influenced by many different things. In literature, there is a focus on how the translation of a text can impact on how a culture, a heritage or identity is perceived. We know how powerful images can be in presenting how a culture can be understood, language is the same. Translation is a powerful tool, but it can also portray power, a dominance over language which can have colonialist implications.

In 2022, Liverpool Arab Arts Festival explores the meeting points for language, the intersections are the places we want to explore.

What we’re looking for

Our call out is divided into two parts:

  • New Artist Commissions

Each year we support several artists in realising new creative ideas. This new work must be developed beyond the concept stage to feature in the 2022 festival.

It must be a considered proposal that could feasibly be staged within the festival, either as a physical or digital event. It must be engaging and thought-provoking, relevant to the theme of Translations.

If you are interested in submitting, please read our brief and how to apply.


We present work by emerging or established artists who are living and / or working in an Arab country or within its communities, or identify as having Arab heritage.

We welcome proposals in any artform including music, performance, theatre, literature, spoken word, visual art, installation, sculpture or any combination of these. Your work may take place physically or online.

For a new commission this work needs to be high-quality and relevant to our audiences. We connect with arts lovers and those interested in Arab arts and culture based locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

The work can be presented as part of our festival. It can be made in collaboration, either with another artist or community. It can potentially be hosted by a cultural organisation physically in Liverpool. It has to be challenging but needs to be accessible for our audiences.

  • Existing Work

Do you have a piece of existing work that you feel would be ideal for LAAF and the festival theme? Could it be re-staged or re-purposed for the festival? Is it a touring work?

If you are an emerging or established artists who are living and / or working in an Arab country or within its communities, or identify as having Arab heritage, and you have an artwork or performance piece you would like to be considered as part of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, please complete the form below.


  • The proposal/work must be artist-led. You could partnering with another organisation or working within a community, but an artist must be at the centre of this piece
  • Our theme is not prescriptive, but we would like it to be responded to. As long as you can articulate its influence.
  • If submitting a proposal for a new artist commission, this must be a new, original piece of work that you own the rights to.
  • While we can support travel fees, the budget is limited. A large group of artists with international travel would not be appropriate.
  • All our commissions are subject to funding. This means that while we will support the development of the work and artist time, we cannot fund rehearsals and space hire during its development.

We have compiled advice for artists to consider the environmental impact of their work and commission

Please read our Environmental Advice for Artists

The deadline to apply is 7 January 2022

Thank you to everyone who applied for this year’s festival. We will be in touch in the future. Given the volume of applications, this is likely to take several weeks.