Cultural Initiatives in North Africa and the Middle East
The Forum of Visual Artists of Mahdia (FVAM) was founded in 2005 as an independent and non-political association for culture and arts founded in 2005 by Mr. Kamel Lazaar with a group of visual artists from Mahdia.
The Forum received its legal status in 2006 and has since held various events focusing on the visual arts including exhibitions and an arts festival in Mahdia, "Festiv'Arts". FVAM was chaired successfully by Kamel Mili, Rachad Farhat and now Mohamed Akram Khouja.It remains one of the few organizations to have a local gallery, which has maintained relatively constant activity throughout this period. The Forum includes a large number of artists young and old, those who are self-taught and those who have been academically trained. In 2013, the Forum began working directly with academic institutions in the same field as well as with other associations and stakeholders in the local civil society.
"Festiv'Arts" was a cultural initiative of FVAM in collaboration with other institutions as a free, public, multi-arts festival, held both in- and outdoors. The festival took place from August 22nd until September 7th, 2013 in Mahdia - a city with a rich history known for its fishing port and also the hometown of Mr. Lazaar. It is situated on Tunisia's eastern coast in an area called "The Sahel". This festival covered visual arts, dance, calligraphy, cartoons, film, music, performance, photography, slam poetry, as well as kite-making, painting old boats, and a host of conferences.