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Welcome to the MUSAWAH ArtistS COLLECTIVE

Musawah invites emerging documentary filmmakers, visual artists and creative nonfiction writers from South and Southeast Asia to participate in the region’s first art programme created for Muslim women artists.

About the Programme

Who We Are

The Musawah Artists Collective (MAC) is a four-month, non-residential, online programme designed for artists, to create new spaces and re-imagine how we get to a world where justice for Muslim women starts with equality in the family. The Programme will run from March – June 2024. 

How We Do It

The MAC will refer to Musawah’s Framework for Action and the 12 Principal Areas of Concern as guiding principles of the movement’s work, and implement it to strengthen the impact, reach, and social responsibility through combining art with activism. 

The Artists will have the opportunity to create multi-layered advocacy work to reach the general public in easy, uncomplicated, and focused terms. There will be three streams, namely Documentary Film, Visual Art, and Creative Nonfiction. Each stream will consist of its own Faculty Leadership; a Mentor and a Facilitator, and three Artists.

At the end of this programme, each Artist is required to produce one project in their respective art disciplines.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants must identify as a woman, preferably a feminist with knowledge about Muslim women’s issues.

  1. This programme is open to citizens and permanent residents of the following countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bangladesh.
  2. Successful applicants must be based in, and actively producing art in their own country at the period of the programme.
  3. Applicants will be applying as individuals, not under an organisation.
  4. Applicants must not receive external payments or grants for the content produced under MAC.
  5. Applicants must be emerging women artists age 22 and above. They should have up to 3 years of experience, or have recently completed a diploma or degree in their respective artistic discipline.
  6. Applicants should demonstrate interest in human rights, specifically on equality and justice in the Muslim family, and Muslim women’s issues.
  7. Applicants should have an active social media presence to promote their artworks/content from the Collective.
  8. Applicants have the ability to work remotely and online, independently and keep to the assigned schedule and deadlines.
  9. Applicants must be comfortable communicating in English for the purpose of the programme.

Mentors & Facilitators


Insia Dariwala | Documentary Filmmaking | An award-winning international filmmaker based in India, she effectively uses her expertise as a writer / director to highlight social evils such as Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) through the medium of visual arts and cinema.

Aisha Hussain | Visual Arts | A world-renowned artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. Holding a diverse practice, working with a variety of mediums from Miniature Painting to Photography and Film, she has exhibited widely in Solo and Group shows in Galleries and Museums in USA, England, France, Italy, Austria, India and Pakistan.

Dina Zaman | Creative Nonfiction | A writer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has published three books, of which two, ‘I Am Muslim’ and ‘Holy Men, Holy Women’, are based on her columns on religions and faith in Malaysia.


Nadiah Hamzah | Documentary Filmmaking | A film director and producer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With her debut film Motif, Nadiah Hamzah has been hailed as “the one to watch” by The Hollywood Reporter. 

Yante Ismail | Visual Arts | A feminist artist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, her art focuses on women’s rights and empowerment. She challenges the patriarchy, and the damaging social and religious norms that dictate how women exist in society. 

Zehra Shah | Creative Nonfiction | A poet, writer and independent art and culture journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. She is currently working on a poetry collection on rape culture and gender violence in Pakistan, and investigating the role of women in folk songs and ancient mythology found in heritage sites and tomb paintings in Sindh.

Programme Schedule and Guidelines

  1. Applicants must be fully committed to the programme and the timeline agreed upon.
  2. Applicants will propose a framework and outline of their project during the programme, based on one (1) out of six (6) Musawah’s Principal Areas of Concern (find out more about it here). These areas are:
    • Woman’s Ability to Consent into Marriage
    • Child Marriage
    • Marriage Vow
    • Polygamy
    • Divorce
    • Custody Rights
  3. Your deliverables/output will be made up of:
    • Documentary Film: 1 x documentary (4 mins max). The film should be shot on your phone only.
    • Visual Art: 1 x visual art product (single or series) such as painting, photography, printmaking.
    • Creative Nonfiction Writing: 1 x short story (1,200 – 5,000 words)
    • Participate in one online group workshop every month from March 2024 – June 2024.
    • Participate in a maximum two-hour mentoring session every month from March 2024 – June 2024 to share updates/learnings related to the final project.
  4. Applicants have the option of creating and publishing content in their own language if they wish, on the condition of providing subtitles for the film stream and a description/summary in English of the visual art and writing content. No additional funding is provided for translation.
  5. Artists must acknowledge that the content created was completed under the Musawah Artists Collective.
  6. All artists are encouraged to be available for publicity and promotional purposes for digital marketing and participating in media interviews.
  7. Artists are encouraged to participate in an online event in July 2024 organised by Musawah to celebrate the final submission of the artworks.
  8. MAC will be sharing selected completed works on our website and/or social media platforms after the 2024 Programme ends. The artworks will also be used for advocacy usage among our advocate lists.
  9. MAC will provide in-kind funding in the form of post-production editing.
  10. MAC reserves the right to stop support of incomplete projects and failure to fulfil project deliverables.

Application Timeline

5 Feb 2024

Application Open Call Begins

8 Mar 2024

Application Open Call Ends

The application on Google Form will automatically close at 11:59 PM MYT on Friday, 8 Mar 2024. No late submissions will be accepted.

15 Mar 2024

Cohort Announcement

Application Form

Submission Guidelines

All applicants will be contacted in March 2024 if successful.

  1. The application form must be submitted in English.
  2. Applicant can only apply once.
  3. Applications are submitted via Google Form and an acknowledgement receipt will be sent via email.
  4. Applicant may be contacted for additional information during the selection period.

Reach out to us at [email protected] for any inquiries.