We are so excited to welcome the latest additions to our board: Selma Benmalek and Jan Lothe Eriksen!

Eriksen, a cultural entrepreneur and former musician and director of Safemuse, brings a great experience from the music field, cultural politics and management, while Benmalek, a program consultant in literature and debates at the public library in Oslo, comes with an impressive record in curating and mediating successful literature and other cultural events to the general public as well as tailoring smaller experiences to more niche audiences.

Together, their diverse backgrounds and wealth of experiences and perspectives will undoubtedly help Masahat make an even greater impact in centering artistic expressions from the Arab World and its diaspora in Norway and beyond.

As we embark on this exciting new chapter, we are grateful for the passion and dedication of our entire board, past and present. And with these recent additions we are excited about the future of Masahat and the meaningful work we will continue to do together.

Jan Lothe Eriksen is a Norwegian cultural entrepreneur and former musician, the initiator and first director of Safemuse – Safe Havens for Artists, and initiator and first director of Riksscenen – National Venue for Traditional Music and Dance. He is educated at the Rogaland Conservatory of Music, is a former cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, vice president of the Norwegian Musicians’ Union (now Creo), and general manager of the Norwegian Traditional Music and Dance Association (NFD, now FolkOrg). He has also for a period worked as cellist with the Sami artist Torgeir Vassvik, and serves as board member of the international network organization SH|FT – Safe Havens Freedom Talks.

Selma Benmalek works as a program consultant responsible for the debate and literature program at Deichman Bjørvika in Oslo. Additionally, she is a board member of Jeunesses Musicales Norway and an editorial assistant at the art magazine 10 Undersøkelser. Selma has a background from Morocco and Northern Norway and was born and raised in Oslo.