Zico House

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

Zico House has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

In 1999, Beirut was selected to be the Cultural Capital of the Arab World; this was when Zico House, the civil society organization for culture and development,was officially born. Zico’s home was increasingly associated with the arts and soon, by word of mouth, it became the place where cultural events took place. The whole building became a house for ecological, social, youth and cultural organizations.

Since 1999, around 250 activities have been hosted in Zico House such as: exhibitions, poetry readings, installations, story telling, debates, video screenings, dance performances, theatre plays, concerts, ciné-club, workshops, etc…

The impact of Zico House as a center for artistic creativity and experimentation is not only due to the quality of the works and innovative ventures, but to its unique cultural atmosphere and a constant inflow of people and ideas. The cultural endeavour initiated by Zico was to support both artistic creations and development work by civil society organizations, all conjoined in the same place: experimental artwork, students’ projects, small theater rehearsals, painting exhibitions, site-specific installations, as well as providing a space for social development projects, social associations and civic institutions. Zico House’s aim has always been to become a notable cultural center and to date, no other such multi-faceted center exists in Lebanon. In 2009, Zico House will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

The objectives of Zico House as a cultural space are:

  • To provide a space for the cultural experience of alternative art forms;
  • To encourage civil associations to use arts as a medium in their social work;
  • To create an environment for exchange, dialogue and communication;
  • To work on developing the arts audience and appreciators;
  • To collaborate with local arts institutions in order to develop the current art scene;
  • To form alliances and collaborate with regional arts institution

Where and with Whom

Many artists have begun their career during their formation at Zico House. Zico House is a platform for up-and-coming artists and for the support and promotion of avant-garde, experimental art events. By fostering this aesthetic, Zico House contributes to the development of art in Lebanon.Because of its intimate, inhouse atmosphere, artists can present their creations, experiencing the proximity with the spectators. Inside the house, events can welcome a maximum of 70 persons, whereas in the garden and on the roof, it can host around 100 persons. Zico House has also initiated collective projects, incorporating the whole building as a space for encounter and exchange; cultural activities take place throughout the house, on the roof, in the garden, on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. This eclectic space can be transformed depending on the needs of each artist or spectacle.

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

Zico House’s internal activities include:

  • A Cultural and Artistic program ranging from concerts to installations, plays, puppet theatre, poetry recitals, movie projections, exhibitions, workshops, seminars, conferences, children’s activities, etc…
  • An Artist Residency where international, visiting artists can experience the local context and the contemporary art scene, through encounters with fellow artists.
  • A Polyvalent Space for various usages such as workshops, trainings, rehearsals, etc.
  • A number of Associations, including GREEN LINE, WOMEN IN IT, HELEM, LADE (Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections). A space also for visiting associations like the Association of Parents of the kidnapped.
  • A Cafeteria Space used as an area for debates, exchange, and dialogue by the associations as well as for small-scale artistic events

Zico House outdoor activities include:

Zico House in Beirut, Lebanon (photography by MuznaMasri, published under a Creative Commons license).