Robert Bosch Cultural Managers in the Arab World

Southern Upper Egypt

Southern Upper Egypt has been part of the Robert Bosch Cultural Manager Program since 2005.

Upper Egypt describes the parts of Egypt that stretch out on either side of the Nile from modern-day Aswân to the south of Cairo. As a result of its location, Upper Egypt is isolated to the East and West by mountainous stretches of desert. Today, this isolation not only refers to its geography, but also applies to a large extent to the region’s cultural life. There is still a range of monumental evidence of past era in this area.

The program aims to foster cooperation with various local partners comprising cultural institutions and universities or unaffiliated groups of artists and various NGOs. Its priorities are cultural exchange and dialogue as well as networking between those artist collectives that arose following the Egyptian revolution. This work is accompanied by consistently raising interest in German culture.
Yasmin Ouberri, born in 1987 in Würselen, studied Arabic-Islamic Culture, German Philology and Islamic Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and the Freie Universität Berlin.

After completing her studies, she gained valuable work experience and strengthened her project management skills through her involvement in a transformation partnership project of the Federal Foreign Office with various actors from the MENA–Region. Through her engagement in development education she was able to establish – especially in Egypt – a heterogeneous network of young, interdisciplinary changemakers dealing with social entrepreneurship, art, design, social media, campaigning and IT, which she is going to use for her work in Sohag, Luxor and Aswan.

Yasmin deepened her understanding of the social, cultural and socio-economic realities of the Arabic speaking countries through her stays in Egypt and Morocco and in particular through her involvement at the Janadriyah cultural and heritage festival in Saudi Arabia where Germany was a guest of honour.

Yasmin Ouberri is Robert Bosch Cultural Manager in Southern Upper Egypt.

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Bringing art into the classroom in Sohag

The artist Ahmed Mohamed Kamel, a participant of the AArtist-in-Residence Program in Germany, brought creative processes in the German language course to Sohag. He conceptualized a workshop series for teachers and students of two PASCH-schools, which took place from 20-27 May 2017. The topics included an introduction to the reception of art as a cultural value, the work of various German and international artists as well as aspects of photography. The theoretical input was supplemented by various small practical units on the subjects of picture composition, light and shadow in photography, and the possibility of an own artistic development. An all-round successful workshop on the subject of art, which inspired the creative vein of the participants.

Copyright Photo: Yasmin Ouberri
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Eco-Art in Luxor

Small canvases made out of recycled paper and cardboard, colors made of natural pigments, masks made of balloons and old newspapers: during the Eco-Art project, which took place from 07-23 March 2017 on Luxor’s West Bank, only self-recycled materials were used for the art workshops in two villages. Five Egyptian artists, an art symposium on the topic of Gerhard Richter, two mural paintings, various workshops on recycling and art as well as a newly planted tree per location – 17 days of interactive art activities which promoted environmental consciousness and creative artistic development.

Copyright Photo: Yasmin Ouberri
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Follow the yarn in Luxor

Within the framework of the “7th edition of the Hakawy International Arts Festival for Children”, the German ensemble of the Helios Theater Hamm had the opportunity to tour through Egypt and perform their play “Follow the yarn”. On 16 March 2017, 150 children between the age of 3 and 12 attended two performances which dealt with the theme "wool", in the Youth Village El-Tud, south-east of Luxor. They were taken on an interactive journey with clicking knitting needles, instrumental music and animals made of wool which were brought to life.

Copyright Photo: Art from people to people
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Art in the street 2

Art from people to people: This was the slogan of the Luxor based partner organization Art from people Contemporary Art space, with which the second edition of the project “Art in the Street” took place from 14-24 January 2017. Five Egyptian artists had the opportunity to discuss and share artistic experience in a four-day painting workshop, where they were inspired by the work of the Swiss-German artist Paul Klee and created new artworks. Afterwards they transformed streets of the villages El-Kom, El-Tod, Naqada and El-Kobahy through their newly gained artistic ideas into a public art space, created mural paintings and conducted art workshops with children. During the project implementation, the artists took into consideration local landscape, architecture and residents of these villages.

Copyright Photo: Muhammad Mahmoud
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German Cinema Club in Luxor

Between September and December 2016, 19 movies from different genres ranging from classical to experimental films were screened as part of the "German Cinema Club – Watch and Talk". The partner organization Digital Bridges Organization will continue the film club on its own and on a regular basis in order to enable people in Luxor, who are interested in Germany, to learn more about its history, society and culture.
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Sweet German-Egyptian friendship

The project “Sweet German-Egyptian friendship” took place on 19 and 20 November 2016 within the framework of the German Days in Upper Egypt. The visitors of the German Days could try different traditional sweet delicacies from Germany and Egypt at our stands in Luxor and Qena and get a glance at how waffles according to a traditional German recipe and donuts according to an Egyptian recipe were made. Also they had the chance to ask the two confectioners for information about their way of preparing the sweets. A special kind of intercultural exchange!
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Nubian Culture Camp

On 11 and 12 November 2016 the first project with a special focus on “The Cultural Heritage of Nubia” took place on Aswan’s Westbank. In cooperation with the partner organizations Bashkatib Cairo, Ain Aswani, NubaTube and Border Center for Support and Consulting 60 children and young people had a chance to participate in an interactive two-day program. The participants were able to deepen and expand their knowledge in four different workshops on the topics of Nubian language, culture, handicraft as well as blogging as a method of storytelling. The project aimed at reducing prejudices, living diversity, and building bridges.

Copyright Photo: Yasmin Ouberri
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Nature Whisper with Grimm’s Fairy Tales

A total of 34 children and young people attended the project “Nature Whisper with Grimm’s Fairy Tales” on Luxor’s Westbank from 13-15 October 2016. The program lasted for three days and enabled the participants to access the content and meanings of Grimm’s fairy tales in many interactive ways. After reading different fairy tales in Arabic, the participants interpreted the story lines that they chose in their own way through theater or painting.

A camera crew filmed the project and the movie will be presented within the framework of the follow-up event and shown to the participants, their family members and others interested in culture.

Copyright Photo: Yasmin Ouberri
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Goethe Film Week 2016 in Sohag

The Goethe Film Week 2016 took place in several selected cities in Egypt’s provinces this year for the second time due to the activities of the Robert Bosch Cultural Managers. In the Southern part of Upper Egypt, the Film Week was held in the city of Sohag, about 500 km south of the capital. On 27 and 28 July 2016 an Egyptian comedy and three German movies of various genres were shown at the University of Sohag. The movies "Bornholmer Straße", "Dry Hot Summers", "A Godsend" and "Labyrinth of lies" were met with great interest among the present audience. Approximately 130 people visited the event on both days.

Copyright Photo: Yasmin Ouberri