Robert Bosch Cultural Managers in the Arab World

Featured Projects by Cultural Managers


Selfportrait – Selfpromotion

The Egyptian photographer Nadia Mounier and the German photographer Marie Lagabbe organized together a five day workshop in Mansoura for 15 young people. The workshop focused on the practical sides of photography: building one’s own pinhole camera, trying out the dusty cameras of the parents, and learning about the history of the self-portrait by learning the basic rules of photography. Additionally, the two photographers had the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experience of their home country.

The project was carried out by Hélèny Aury

Copyright Photo: Hélène Aury

Urban Sound Dialogue: Spaces speak – Let’s listen!

In collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture at the Mansoura University, we organized a five-day workshop for students of architecture from 19-24 February 2016. The aim was to create audio walks with different listening stations. The flyers to promote the audio walks were created by students. The echo was really good and the students learned a new way of approaching their city. They discovered new places and became interested in sharing their knowledge with others.

The project was carried out by Hélèny Aury

Copyright Photo: Hélène Aury


In collaboration with the Institut français in Egypt as well as partner organizations Mahatat for Contemporary Art (Egypt), Vuesch e.V (Germany), and Nomadways (France) a circus residency and tour was organized in the Nile delta. Five German, five French, five Egyptian artists and five Egyptian amateurs developed a performance with live music during 10 days of residency in Port Said and performed it around the Nile delta in nine cities with a final show in Cairo. During the residency and the tour the artists organized different workshops for children and youth every day. The workshops included music, acrobatics, and juggling to discover the circus world. The audience was large, altogether over 5,500 visitors. The highlight was in the village of Abu Mangug where more than 2,000 visitors, even from the surrounding villages, came to see the performance.

The project was carried out by Hélèny Aury

Copyright Photo: Mostafa Abdel Aty

See my story

“The shadow of a man is better than the shadow of a wall (Egyptian saying). I didn’t choose not to get married, but society didn’t understand. And suddenly I was called Anees (Arabic for unmarried women)”

“People talk and we are pressured by our families and neighbors. They call us a burden.”

“I will marry, give birth. It’s like moving from one prison to another. I decided to be alone.”

“Why are they calling me Anees? Is the man the solution?”

These statements were made by four young women who took part in a documentary film workshop under the guidance of filmmaker Francesca Araiza Andrade in Luxor in February 2016. During one weekend 15 participants of the workshop learned the basics of storytelling techniques. In groups they developed screenplays and scripts for three short films. When it came to finding a topic related to women’s role in society, the participants put together an impressive list and finally agreed on portraying three topics during the workshop. The short films focused on the stigma of being an unmarried woman and on gender-specific restrictions of mobility as well as the ambivalence of beauty standards demands versus conservative clothing ideas. The project was conducted in cooperation with Raise Your Voice, an initiative against sexual harassment and for the promotion of female voices in independent media.

The project was carried out by Jenny Ebner

Copyright picture: Jenny Ebner

Girls Worlds

“Girls Worlds” was a photo-biography project carried out by girls and young women from Germany and Egypt. On the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child 2015 a series of workshops was conducted in Berlin and Sohag and the stories and portraits of the participants were exhibited in a joint exhibition in both cities. The preoccupation with one's own biography, the identity and role of girls and women in society and within the family, the playful questioning of one's own body and the basic approach to various concepts of girls and women's images were reflected in the photos and texts of the project. The exhibition showed the project participants as self-confident actors with their individual future ideas, desires and needs. It also showed the demands for a society in which girls and women have the opportunity to independently shape their everyday life, their future, their professional and family planning, regardless of their origin or gender.

Despite different realities of girls and young women in Germany and Egypt the project showed not only the differences, but also the similarities and diversity among the young participants. A 12-year-old participant underlined: “I find it very exciting how similar girls in Egypt and Germany are. One girl likes Japanese and Korean animation films, just like me, I wouldn’t have expected that.”

The project was developed and implemented in cooperation with the AG Mädchenarbeit Pankow from June to December 2015.

The project was carried out by Jenny Ebner

Copyright picture: Eiad Oraby

Theaterfestival: German Plays on Egyptian Stages

On the evening of 17 October 2015 El Minya in Upper Egypt presented itself with a lot of applause and not enough seats for everyone. Over 450 spectators of all ages attended the premiere of five contemporary German youth plays in Arabic translation, which have been staged within the project "German Plays on Egyptian Stages”. Some spectators even traveled from Sohag which lies 200 km further up the Nile. The performance was preceded by editing, a 3-day workshop and an intensive two-month rehearsal period. The project was a great success - not least as it is intercultural exchange at its core, when young Egyptians deal through the medium of theater with the (not always so different) realities of German youth and current social challenges in Germany. The following plays were performed: "Letztes Territorium" (Anna Habermehl), Vampiru (Katja Hensel), "Hamlet ist tot" (Ewald Palmetshofer), "Steht auf, wenn ihr Schalker seid" and "Ich bin ein guter Vater" (Jörg Menke-Peitzmeyer).

The project was carried out by Dominik Reich in collaboration with the local cultural center Dawar El Fnoun

Copyright: Goethe-Institut Kairo/Heba Raouf Salama

Tape along the Nile – Tape Art meets El Minya

Electronical beats, cutter knives and colorful tape at the edge of the desert: the two artists Stephan and Thomas Meißner, members of the Berlin-based art collective TAPE THAT, brought for the first time the art with adhesive tape to the Nile valley. Much to the delight of 20 talented students of the Faculty of Fine Arts/University of El Minya, who not only gained insights into the unusual working techniques with tape as a medium, but also created their own pieces of art during a three-day workshop. Furthermore, 200 students and lecturers learned more about the artists, the art form "tape art" and its roots in the street art movement during a fascinating presentation. Those interested in TAPE THAT had the opportunity to watch the artists working not only in El Minya, where they taped three artworks: At the end of their tour the artists turned the courtyard of the Goethe-Institut Cairo into an open-air studio during the event "Tape Art in the Yard".

The project was carried out by Dominik Reich in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Cairo

Goethe-Institut Kairo/Dominik Reich/Roger Anis

Beyond Silence movie night and panel discussion

The German sign language interpreter Susanne Schweizer visited Jeddah from 25-29 January 2015. During her stay she visited multiple organizations for the hearing impaired, like the “Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing” (JISH). On 28 January 2015 the Dar Al-Hekma women’s university organized a movie night with the German movie “Beyond Silence”. After the screening of the film a panel discussion was held where members of the Saudi deaf and hearing impaired community discussed with Susanne Schweizer the differences and similarities between the Saudi and the German deaf community. Around 200 women participated in the event, among them 30 members of the “Deaf Women’s Club Jeddah”. The event took place in English, Arabic and Saudi sign language.
The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth
Copyright picture: Annette Klein

International Week of Coffee

In cooperation with the Saudi youth organization “Call of Culture” the “International Week of Coffee” took place from 13-15 November 2015 in the Italian Cultural Center in Jeddah. Around 600 visitors had the chance to learn about the different coffee traditions in countries like the US, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Germany, try different sorts of coffee and marvel at “art with coffee”. In this context 10 antique exhibition items from the Coffee Museum Berlin were presented that illustrate the distinct German coffee tradition and coffee culture. Visitors encountered for example a wooden coffee mill, an antique waffle iron, multiple coffee pots and an advertising poster from the 1960s promoting “Schilling Coffee”.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth
Copyright picture: Miriam Seyffarth

Saudi German Creative Week

In cooperation with the partner organization Tashkeil, the Saudi German Creative Week was held from 13-20 March 2015 with the focus on furniture design. Two renowned German furniture and product designers, Katrin Sonnleitner and Wolf Jeschonnek, spent a week in Jeddah and held four workshops and two lectures for 25 young Saudi designers. The project was a major success: The Saudi minister of labor visited one of the workshops which led to a huge coverage of the project in Saudi media. Additionally, a lot of new connections were forged, for example between FabLab Berlin and FabLab Arabia, and there was an intense cultural exchange between German and the Saudi designers. The participants came to attend the workshops even from the faraway city of Khobar and the neighbouring state Bahrein.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth

Urban Knitting-Project

In the frame of the annual Design Symposium at Dar Al-Hekma University, the Urban Knitting project took place from 1-4 March 2015. German artist Jasna Strick held a three-day workshop with 12 female students and gave a lecture in front of 300 students and professors in which she presented the history and art form of Urban Knitting, i.e. knitted art in public spaces. The workshop participants initially struggled with learning how to knit but developed more and more enthusiasm and eventually wrapped a whole chair in their knitted art work. Over the course of the workshop they also became close to Jasna Strick and asked her many questions about life in Germany and German culture in general.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth

Reinventing Asir

The rediscovery and reanimation of the unique Saudi art and architecture in the southern mountain province of Asir was the focus of a number of events held between 18 February and 5 March 2015, first in the village of Al Okaz in Asir and then in Jeddah. Two German researchers, Professor Ulrike Freitag and Professor Andres Lepik, contributed with lectures to the program in Al Okaz. Especially the lecture by professor Freitag in Al Okaz - held in Arabic - was met with huge enthusiasm among the numerous Saudi villagers and was covered in an article in the Saudi daily "Arab News".
As part of the project, there was a photo exhibition opening with around 150 Saudi and international guests in the residence of the German Consul General in Jeddah on 26 February 2015 with photographs from Asir by German Professor Anna Klingmann, a lecture was given by the French anthropologist Thierry Mauger about his research in Asir. The lecture was followed by a lively and sometimes even controversial discussion between Mauger, Klingmann and the audience.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth

Streetart and Graffiti Project in Jeddah

In cooperation with Julian Fuchs from the Goethe Institute in Cairo a streetart workshop with German artist Jens Besser took place in Jeddah on 9-11 February 2015. Jens Besser offered a workshop for young Saudi artists in the newly opened streetart space "Inner Voices" in the historical inner city district of Jeddah and a second workshop was held the following day for young and underprivileged children. Involved were the Athr Gallery, the graffiti centre Dhad and a number of Saudi artists from Jeddah. In an enthusiastic and familiar atmosphere, Jens Besser and the artists produced several artworks.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth

Exhibition "Famous Arab and European Women in Science and Technology"

Based on the German exhibition "Women in Science and Technology" by the University of Lübeck, a joint exhibition was created in cooperation with Dar Al-Hekma University. The students from the design faculty designed posters about outstanding Arab and Muslim women in science and technology from various centuries and exhibited these together with the posters about the German and European women at the university. The Saudi daily "Saudi Gazette" reported about the exhibition opening. The aim to present historical female role models from both cultures who could inspire young women today was met with great passion by all project partners.

The project was carried out by Miriam Seyffarth