Run by Ola Khalidi, Samah Hijawi, Diala Khasawnih and Ahmad Amin
Ola Khalidi ran the space since it started and slowly a group was forming to run it, change, shift. Now Samah Hijawi runs it in collaboration with Ahmad Amin. The space is gradually shifting into a collectively run space.
Makan is located in Amman, Jordan. We think of the space as an ongoing project, including the virtual space.
The main idea is to create an independent dynamic space for artists to meet.
It is a space, open to the public, that organises projects within and outside it, these include an artist residency, exhibitions, workshops, performance, screenings, meetings, and offers studio spaces for work. The team divides work, creates and develops projects, curates and makes art work.
Four people are presently involved, more come on board project-based. Responsibilities rotate.
The space sustains itself by funding. At first Makan was very small and Ola managed to run it for three years with a minimal budget and no funding: some money from project management, film screening donations, rental of studio spaces, etc. But as Makan grew, our budget grew and we felt confident in approaching funders (mostly international cultural organisations that find funding in our region of interest to them). We recently have been approaching local private funders to get involved in Makan and contribute, we succeeded to some degree, but need more interested "patrons”. However, funding is a trap in many ways and we still hope to come up with an amazing idea to sustain Makan.
Of course non profit local laws are limiting and that is why, for example, taking donations is not an option-would be illegal, as would any "commercial" activity. Our laws do not support independent cultural spaces. Again: a trap.
A conversation about this is always ongoing between members of our group and I feel it is important to extend it to hear other groups' strategies. We continue to brainstorm for alternatives.