Siba Sahabi selected for Van Doesburghuis residency

In January 2023, the Creative Industries Fund NL issued an Open Call to makers and designers in the disciplines of design, architecture and digital culture to submit a proposal for a residency in the Van Doesburghuis in Paris. Siba Sahabi has been selected for a work period of 4 months.

20 June 2023


The Mondriaan Fonds, as the coordinator of this Open Call, received 13 applications in response to the Open Call Residency Van Doesburghuis. The proposals were assessed based on the portfolio, CV, work plan, presentation plan and motivation letter. Headed by the chair Robert Jan Verhagen (Mondriaan Fonds), all proposals were assessed by Isabel Driessen (committee member Internationalisation Design Sector programme), Anouk van Klaveren (committee member Design programme) and Koen Delaere (Mondriaan Fonds), considering to what extent the proposals were consistent in terms of goal and set-up and in line with the objectives of this Open Call. Designer Siba Sahabi was selected with the Arabesque proposal. Sahabi shall stay and work on this project in the Van Doesburghuis from 2 July 2023 to 29 October 2023.


Arabesque aims to explore and reconstruct the meaning of cultural identity, with a focus on the relations between European and Middle Eastern cultures. Sahabi wants to examine how these relations influence individuals within communities and how cultural identity changes when people are exposed to multiple cultures. The project is a thorough investigation into the characteristic elements of the design and dance history of Europe and the Middle East. Based on her new insights, she will develop a concept during the residency for a dance film or performance that bridges the two sets of cultures. The project is inspired in part by the role played by Louis XIV in the development of the dance discipline, which led to the evolution of today’s classic ballet. This in turn has led to contemporary dance, which is a discipline that is becoming steadily more important in Sahabi’s work. With its rich dance culture, Paris offers an ideal environment in which to pursue this research. The Institut du Monde Arabe, located here, is a relevant organisation to help study the complex relations between the Middle East and Europe.


Sahabi will receive a contribution of € 2000 a month to help cover travel expenses, material, transportation and subsistence costs. The costs of the rent of the studio, the living space and the guidance will be paid to the Van Doesburghuis directly by the funds.


Ever since 2017, the Creative Industries Fund NL, the Netherlands Film Fund, the Performing Arts Fund, the Mondriaan Fonds and the Dutch Foundation for Literature jointly offer a residency in the Van Doesburghuis in Meudon-Val-Fleury/Paris. In this studio dwelling that Theo van Doesburg designed for himself and his wife Nelly at the end of the 1920s, designers and makers including film directors and curators, screenwriters and researchers, architects and digital culture makers can conduct research, work out their ideas, or create new work.