Archive for the ‘ Social ’ Category

Fighting Oppression!

lucien-fellow candidateship

Lucien Bourjeily Co Founder of VAPA, actor and director (granted numerous nominations and artistic prizes) has been honored to represent Lebanon and the Middle East region today as Fellow at the 2015 prestigious ISPA congress in New York!


In our mission statement it is mentioned that one of the main issues the association will fight for is the right to free speech and the banning of censorship in Lebanon. Lucien has been an activist in the Lebanese scene, fighting by all means the strict censorship rules imposed on artists by the Lebanese General Security. After the sad events that occurred in Paris, mans artists and activists have expressed their views in support of Charlie Hebdo. Lebanese journalists through the years have been an easy target for terrorists whose only aim was to punish those who spoke in favor of freedom. In the hope that a better world will exist, we will always join the fight for Peace.

As Yoko Ono says: WAR IS OVER!


Post written by Kiki Bokassa.


“72 Hours Film Challenge”

72 Hours Film Challenge” Produced By H&M and UNFPA Lebanon (United Nations Populations Fund) in collaboration with VAPA— Canon DSLR Cameras were offered as Prizes for Winners! More on this project is found on

Thank You to All Jury Members!
72hrs jury-unfpa-vapa

“KHALLIK SALBE” …. An interactive play about HIV/AIDS, Stigma & Discrimination.

vapa-let's talk play poster
VAPA’s Latest Project!
“KHALLIK SALBE” …. Directed by Lucien Bourjeily
An interactive play about HIV/AIDS, Stigma, and discrimination part of the Let’s Talk – Lebanon Campaign
Featuring actors from ImproBeirut
Funded/Produced by UNFPA Lebanon.
For more info about locations and timing please visit Let’s Talk Lebanon facebook page
In the press:
vapa khallik salbe-orient
The Performance in Rachaya-Bekaa:

“Let’s Talk” Campaign 2013/ Interactive Play Devising Workshop

1-IMG_8070Workshop to devise the “Let’s Talk” campaign interactive PLAY that will tour Lebanon in summer 2013. Project supported/initiated by UNFPA Lebanon, Ypeer network, H&M. Implemented by the Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA). Performances dates will be announced SOON… Stay Tuned!
More info about “Let’s Talk” campaign visit: – DIRECTOR Lucien Bourjeily.
Previous Call for Cast/Visual Communication:
let's talk-unfpavapa casting poster
PLAY- CAST (by alphabetical order)
Shaden Fakih
Lara Ghattas
Hussein Hijazi
Youssef Khawaja
Georges Mattar
Farah ShaerPLAY- FACILITATORS (by alphabetical order)
Samir Haidar
Randa Jomaa
Photos taken by: Rami Al Rabih

Your Help is Needed on Kindness Day

“A big thank you for all of you who contrubuted to this call.”
Every year we help an elderly couple that lives on the 4th floor of the old Roof68 building in Ashrafieh (the ex premises of Vapa Association). The residents of this building moved away since the Fassouh neighbouring bldg tragedy took place. We were all obliged to evacuate. The couple stayed there because they have no where else to go, no family who wants to take care of them. They are sick, old, hungry and cold.
This year we thought that instead of offering a little we could ask you to join hands with us in order to get more more help for those elderly parents who have abandoned by their children  long years ago.
We would gratefully appreciate it if you would give any amount you’d be willing to give away to help us offer their basic needs.
They are awaiting the results of this call for help as their situation is becoming more and more desperate with time.
Please send us back your reply as soon as possible and remember that on the 13th of November of every year, we all need to celebrate World Kindness Day by helping each other even with the tiniest of gestures.
More information can be provided to you upon demand, as well as the contact info of the couple you are helping out and a planned visit is also welcome so please just feel free to tell us about your wish.
For donating all you have to do is email/call us on the following mobile below, and we will tell you about the simple logistic about the fund collection.
Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA)
Facebook Groups: Vapa Association/Studio 68

Nour Merheb, RIP (1985-2011)

Nour Merheb, RIP (1985-2011).

Art Night Schenectady Pairs Up with VAPA Assoc. to Introduce Art Night Beirut in an Ongoing Series of Art Events

Inaugural Date: Friday. June 17. 2011 / 6:00 PM | Schenectady. New York / Beirut. Lebanon

 Art Night Schenectady (New York, USA) in conjunction with The Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA) are proud to introduce Art Night Beirut (Lebanon). The mission of Art Night Beirut goes hand in hand with Art Night Schenectady’s mission.

Art Night Beirut is committed to the goal of providing assistance to the arts community via the follow methods:

• To assist artists’ with finding a voice in the artistic community

• To act as a binding link between all artistic organizations

• To get business interested and involved with local art and artists

• To place the artists’ needs above all else

• To drive the arts to new levels of excellence globally

“Beirut, Lebanon is known as the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, what better place is there than this to have our first sister event…”, commented Mitch Messmore, Founder Art Night Schenectady. “This partnership will help artists in the Capital District of New York and Lebanon to reach a larger audience and bridge the cultural gap between the US and the Middle East.”

“This event is an opportunity to open up a global dialogue through the arts and we are proud to collaborate with Art Night Schenectady in this venture.” – Kiki Bokassa, Founder of VAPA Association.

Art Night Beirut will take place on the 3rd Friday of every month in conjunction with Art Night Schenectady. It will be kicking off its inaugural event on June 17.


Art Night Schenectady runs from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on the 3rd Friday of every month. The event is an effort to promote interest in the arts throughout the community and occurs year round — rain, snow or shine! Throughout the night, venues offer incredible visual art displays and pieces for sale or just to admire. After 9:00 pm, local cafes and coffee houses offer a place for people to gather. There are about 20 venues who participate in Art Night Schenectady each month.

People attending Art Night Schenectady certainly get a healthy dose of the local art scene, but they also gain a greater appreciation for many different restaurants and businesses in Schenectady. A wide variety of downtown galleries and trendy non-gallery venues host special events for Art Night, including open houses, artist receptions, live demonstrations and more. For more information about Art Night Schenectady and the participating venues for this month’s event please visit

The Visual and Performing Arts Association (VAPA) is a non-profit organization registered in August 2009, with a mission to hold artistic and cultural activities aimed towards resolving social issues. The idea of the association was perceived by the founders Kiki Bokassa and Lucien Bourjeily, who are part of Lebanon’s active art scene through humanitarian, cultural and artistic projects, whether in the field of painting or theater. VAPA was first intended to, at one hand, provide network support and assistance to growing artists to help them promote their work, and on the other hand, improve the conditions of artists’ rights and freedom of speech in Lebanon. Following this reasoning, VAPA has decided to tackle social issues through art and culture instead of only solving problems related to art. It is upon this basis that VAPA has been built and operates to fulfill the goals at hand.


Renovating Roumie Prison with Colors!

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On behalf of Vapa Association (Visual and Performing arts association) and Vapa partner “Father Afif Osseiran Foundation” in the projectبدنا نولّع رومية بالألوان   I am proud to share with you the info related to the activity that was a one of its kind in every sense and hopefully the beginning of many colorful journeys. Being grateful to have lived this experience and to have had the opportunity to add a little bit more colors to the lives of the young inmates detained in Roumie Juvenile prison do not fully express the state we’re all still in.
Roumie young inmates want to share a message with you (letter in arabic attached). In case as journalists you’re interested in publishing any content about the topic please contact us (contact info 03 466 764 / in order to receive a copy of the letter. Kindly find attached a picture (pictures are submitted upon request) and below is the project press release translated into English and French:
Press Release 
بدنا نولّع رومية بالألوان | Renovating Roumieh with Colors
A slogan that Roumieh young detainees have chosen as a result of the completed / as a coronation of the renovation workshop of the Juvenile Aisle courtyard; an activity which has been conceptualized by Father Afif Osseiran Foundation in collaboration with Visual and Performing Arts Association “VAPA”.
It’s worth mentioning that this event wouldn’t have come to life without the determination, enthusiasm and courage of the youth who have sincerely expressed  what they have done using words such as “!!!!إي والله لنخربا بالألوان” or “We will definitely destroy Roumieh with Colors”.
The planning process for this project has began around late October 2010 with a general outline which has been accelerated intensively beginning November 2010 and for the period of three consecutive months due to the efforts of the team made of more than twenty young detainees.
Finally, many thanks go out to every single individual who helped in the accomplishment of this philanthropic project!
      اختار شباب مبنى الاحداث في سجن روميه هذا الشعاّر تتويجاً لإستكمال عمليات ترميم الباحة الخارجية لمبناهم، والتي تمّت تحت رعاية وإشراف مؤسسة الأب عفيف عسيران بالتعاون مع “جمعية الفنون البصرية والادائية” (VAPA) ويجدر الذكر بأنّه لم يكن هذا الحدث ليبصر النور لولا العزم والحماس والشجاعة التّي تحلّى بها الشباب الذين عبّرواعن ذلك بأصدق العبارات بعفويّتهم المعهودة من خلال إطلاق عبارات مثل  “!!!!إي والله لنخربا بالألوان” وبدأ التخطيط للمشروع في أواخر شهر تشرين الأول حيث رسمت الخطوط العريضة له، ومن ثمّ إستمر العمل فيه على قدم وساق على مدى ثلاثة أشهر منذ تشرين الثاني بفضل جهود فريق عمل ضم ما يزيد عن عشرين شابًاً.  شكر خاص لكلّ من ساهم في إنجاز هذا المشروع!         
Roumié en voit de toutes les couleurs!                       “بدنا نولّع روميه بالألوان”!
Les jeunes de l’aile des mineurs à la prison de Roumié ont choisi ce slogan afin de couronner un atelier de réforme esthétique de la cour externe de leurs locaux, parrainée par La Fondation Père Afif Osseiran, en coopération avec l’association VAPA.
Ce projet n’aurait pas pu voir le jour sans la volonté, le courage et l’entrain des jeunes. Un groupe de travail d’une vingtaine de mineurs ont en effet travaillé sans relâche pendant trois mois, depuis Novembre. La planification du projet avait commencé fin Octobre avec la mise en place des lignes directrices.
Un grand merci à tous ceux qui ont volontairement contribué leurs efforts à la réalisation de ce projet !


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The Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, and the Embassy of Italy in Beirut, launch the “Reference guide of NGOs and institutions working in Lebanese Prisons”, jointly produced within the project “VIEWS FROM WITHIN, CINEMARENA 2009- 2010” in the framework of the Emergency ROSS Program funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Italian Cooperation.

VAPA Association is finishing its intervention in the Cinemarena Project which is being held in 13 prisons all over Lebanon.  We gave prisoners graffiti workshops which they can later on use in their professions (shoe-smith…).  Graffiti artists reproduced the artwork done and the firt exhibition took place in March 2011 in an attempt to spread awareness about the prison’s conditions.The exhibition took place during the launching ceremony of the guide.



The first anniversary of Roof 68 came up on June 4th, and VAPA could not let it go by without a celebration.  We organized a casual night to celebrate this anniversary gathering all our friends, partners, and everyone interested at Roof 68 for a night of 80’s music.  At the event there were more than a hundred people mixed between Artists and activists in the civil society from different nationalities (Italian, French, American…).

The best thing about the night was the social interaction between all the peculiar people who were there, I have to say mixing art with the civil society simple creates a “Big Bang”!

The picture was taken from Star Scene (Daily Star) who covered the event (

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