Photo By Joao Sousa

PAST event

[In-Person] GPS Chats: Contemporary Performance & Creative Production in Beirut

Romy Assouad



6:30pm – 8:00pm
April 19, 2023
MR, 122CC – Courtyard Studio

150 1st Avenue New York, NY 10009

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[In-Person] GPS Chats:

Contemporary Performance & Creative Production in Beirut

Featuring Romy Assouad of YARAQA (Lebanon)

This GPS Chats is presented in partnership the with 2023 New York Arab Festival!

This is a Free event. Spaces are limited.
Reservations required.


For the HEALTH of OUR COMMUNITIES, we will continue to follow our current >>MR COVID-19 Safety Protocols<<. These protocols require all attendees to wear N95/KN95/KF94 during the entire event. Starting February 2023, showing proof of vaccination will not be required to enter Studies Projects events happening at 122 Community Center.

Event Description:

This in-person GPS Chats continues an exciting new partnership with the 2023 New York Arab Festival, directed by Adham Hafez. This GPS Chats features a presentation by Romy Assouad, founder and director of YARAQA based in Beirut, Lebanon. Romy will discuss contemporary dance in the larger cultural context of Beirut, the systems and structures that support contemporary movement artists, and the work of Yaraqa on behalf of the Lebanese dance community.

An economic collapse and a devaluation of our currency along with the pandemic, a devastating explosion and continuous protests in the streets, all happened in a matter of only two years. These catastrophic events majorly affected an already fragile community of dance and movement professionals, creating a sense of scarcity - both in mindset and resources - forcing them to wake up everyday to unchartered territory. This is where we locate ourselves at Yaraqa. The Lebanese dance and movement ecosystem has never truly had much national or even any institutionalized support. And in the last couple of years, funding schemes have changed even further, from the job market to the shortage of international monetary support, and with volatile living conditions, the amount of challenges to deal with is quite unprecedented. Between the magnitude of the crises we are enduring and the inherited practices and infrastructures of short-term thinking, Yaraqa is consistently working on the question of sustainability of dance and (re)investigates what this sustainability could look like today, tomorrow, and in the future. In a perpetual state of ebb and flow, where local and international events ripple through, we are learning how to build a foundation that is built to withstand such movement.

New York Arab Festival:

New York City’s first Arab and Arab American art and culture festival, celebrating the song, dance, fashion, performance, ideas, and cuisine that have made Arab heritage part of American heritage, programmed yearly during National Arab American History Month. The New York Arab Festival (NYAF) fights the erasure of Arab and Arab American identities in New York City, a city that has been home for the Arab diaspora for three centuries today. NYAF programs art, talks, live performances, digital events and in-person encounters with multiple partners across New York City, and is shaped in close conversations with the Arab and Arab American artists and communities in New York, and in the US at large. Founded by Arab, Arab American and American artists, curators and cultural entrepreneurs, the festival is a showcase of contemporary creation, a window into cultural histories, and a site for radical encounters. Founded by Adham Hafez, Marwa Seoudi, Adam Kucharski and Cindy Sibilsky. Produced by HaRaKa Platform, and powered by Wizara.

[Image Description: Photo of a performer resting their head on their arms while leaning on a staircase banister. They are wearing black and white face makeup and a head dress made of many clocks. Their eyes are closed and they have a relaxed face expression]

Related Artists

Romy Assouad

Romy Assouad (she, her, hers) is a dancer, director, creative producer, and cultural entrepreneur. After graduating in computer graphics and animation, she went on to work in diverse creative and cultural industries, producing and directing proj...


YARAQA is a socio-cultural enterprise based in Lebanon. We bring together dance & movement artists with other creative & business professionals to collaborate and create impact in communities through dance & movement. We work with va...