voices of culture- A call for Egypt-based projects

hey edgeryders

just read about this call that @Heba sent to me a while ago. It sounds interesting for those who are working in Egypt in the culture field; This covers theatre to public spaces to local community work. Since there are some people who are active in these fields here, thought may be we can manage to apply within one theme.

It is not a long term project, just a small intervention so I guess if we need to make the most of it we need to structure the proposal to serve and support the people already working as a main goal while of course finding new people on the way.

The EU call ( more info here ) is for short term actions ( 2 to 15 month ), min 15k max 30k euros, and allows supporting 3rd parties so fellowship model could be applied. ( deadline is near though 3 September )

All artistic and cultural proposals are welcomed. Also, “Initiatives that can show the importance of the involvement of local communities in setting up a cultural agenda in public spaces;” and actions “should facilitate access to culture in public spaces, informal areas and locations that are culturally deprived”

Working in public spaces is not that easy in Egypt in general these days, but wanted to share this here may be we can find a way collectively to do something with it.

One idea could be discovering what’s happening outside of the capital, and find a way to support people who are building nodes in siwa, nuweiba and other places.

so if anyone is interested or sees an opportunity in this, lets go for it.


I’d be more than happy to help facilitate something happening within this project.
I think your view that the work needs to be grounded in work from within the Egyptian community is correct, but I’d be happy to look at project delivery opportunities from within Edgeryders if these local players make themselves known.
I’m particularly keen on work from a theatre-oriented background, but any kind of participatory or community based work would also be great interest.
I know he’s super busy, but perhaps there is overlap with some of the work @nabeel_p is doing down in SA with community arts projects.
I’m sure between ER/me/Nabeel and a few local artists/changemakers we could make something work really well.
All down to the local interest though…
Perhaps @HadeerGhareeb may know of some interested parties…?

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This is great @hazem and I’d be happy to help. I think there could be good opportunity to explore the partnership with Racines here (as per this post), as they specialise in cultural agendas in public spaces, and are a part of an active cultural network across MENA pushing cutting edge cultural projects and policies - Culture est la Solution/ MARSD which includes Egypt. I have a call with their @Azdem their Director tomorrow - would you like to join for part of it? It’s at 17:00 CEST so you could join say around 17:30 to discuss this in particular if you like.

I must admit I replied without looking in detail at the EU Call and I see now that it is a tender that closes 9 September. Have you prepared any EU tenders before @hazem ? I haven’t but have contributed to a partner submitting one and they are quite the beast. 9 September is very close to prepare all the documentation. I can support in the conceptualisation and partnerships, and offer some guidance with the documentation but am limited in what I can do aside from that and moral support.

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@alex_levene having you will be for sure a great addition, let’s see if we can connect to local artists or initiatives who are interested to move forward.

thanks would be nice to join the call at 17:30 ( will join via phone ) it could be good fit.
As for the proposal, I haven’t’ applied any EU tender before, have seen your huge application as a consortium for the poprebel so I know it is a lot of work.

Ok cool @hazem so:

  1. when you say via phone can you specify what you mean so I can add you?
  2. Alas POPREBEL was a H2020 RIA not a tender so they are different but yes tenders are a lot of work. Do you think you could prepare a summary of what will be involved before the call with Mehdi as I won’t have time now that we’ve won NGI Forward and have to do some immediate preparations today…?

1- will not be able to use a keyboard, so if you are using google hangouts send me an invitation ( if you will be using another medium just notify me so I can download its android app )

2- congrats on the new win :smiley: , ok, will write you points that we can discuss together with Mehdi, what I had in mind is similar to what you wrote on you summary post on how we can combine what they do and what we do, in this point we can discuss 2 different approaches the FRIDA one in Morocco and a possible one in Egypt focusing on cultural initiatives and public spaces rather than holistic security, works ?

Cool, we’ll be on skype so please download and add me (anique.vered). Also let’s keep FRIDA on the EDGE out of this for now as it’s its own thing but otherwise all sounds good.

ok for skype.

for what we can discuss

  • in general having an online space for Racines activities on edgeryders
  • possible co-production of online courses
  • Racines plan towards wokring in Egypt and Tunisia.
  • voices of culture application as partners, could be around public spaces or mapping or adding voices to the people on the edges of society.

Great! I suggest you join more like 17:15 if suits.

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@hazem go for it. Let me know when you decide, because there are some formal requirements: you are going to need the statute, the filed accounts etc. This might take a bit of time.

And we’re actually meeting on hangouts

After reading this awesome report done by Racines and @Azdem in Morocco on public spaces, the report is quite enjoyable to read ( available in Arabic, English, and French ), and checking out the “Culture is the solution” publication, Certainly it would be a nice collaboration, knowing that they are preparing their annual meeting in Alexandria 2019 “hopefully”

Focusing on public spaces right now in Egypt is quite problematic as the public realm is shrinking naturally as a result of the overall situation in the country, so better not to focus on the physical spaces as a main theme, but there are other small initiatives happening everywhere in Egypt.

As for culture production in a highly centralized country, young talents need to pass by the center, mainly Cairo and Alexandria, in order to have a chance as that’s where the action is happening. ( for example the madina story mentioned in the above mentioned publication is from Alexandria )

On the other-hand some local initiatives are doing amazing job in their hometowns, like ElQuseir, Cathrine,…etc. Besides, A lot of young people are travelling more inside Egypt as part of local tourism /eco tourism initiatives/businesses. Adding an online community to the mix to offer a medium for young people to write, reflect on their own communities and country.

So I would suggest an 8-9 month project as follows :

  • 1st stage : collecting stories from different governorates, where people share their personal stories, description of their local community ( local initiatives, crafts, economy, people, arts, architecture, ….etc ). during this phase some writing workshops could be conducted in different places throught the country.

  • 2nd stage : kinda travel and exchange to see the other parts of Egypt where active participants get to have funded travel within Egypt to live ( and possibly contribute to another project ) in another governorate for one month or more guided by the stories of the locals. During their travel they can share their reflections, blog posts, videos,…etc on their experience on the platform where participation/guidance/comments are provided by the community.

The results of featured stories could be grouped in one place as a pdf or website, and the ones producing them get to attend the Racines meeting in Alex to reach the international arab community.

how does this sound like @azdem ? for the 1st workshops and final conference/meeting partnership.
I think this also could be interesting to @karimyassin as CILAS expanded to Alexandria as well this year, may be providing small workshops as well during the 1st phase and probably the traveling and reflections on local communities as outsiders could be a project for interested CILAS students ?


@hazem please remember to ping @Azdem direct in whats app/ email to follow this up based on his schedule and still acquainting with the platform as a means to work out loud :hatching_chick:

@hazem Just checking in to see where there this is at… did you get @Azdem’s feedback and do you need anything from me?

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yes @Azdem is notified and probably will provide his feedback soon, I also reached out to another Egyptian organization that works with young people from different places in Egypt.

it is also the feast this week so most people are in vacation.

will let you know how this develops as we go.


@hazem, i liked to proposal and shared with you the opinion to work and include local structures and initiatives (this is one of Racines’ politics). About the meeting in Alexandria, it’s an amazing idea to present the results there…So, I’ll have a meeting with MARSAD partners next november in our biennal cultural policies meeting in Tiznit (in the south of morocco) and will discuss to proposal with them. I’ll keep you update on the progress of Alexandria meeting.

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Sadly couldn’t go forward with the application as the communication with the proposed Egyptian organization ( supposed to carry on the workshops ) didn’t work out.

Still there is a concept note that we can reuse in similar projects, meanwhile am trying to continue reaching out for the small edgy projects via the community calls, so when there is a chance we can support them via these kind of calls.

Could you share the concept note with me? Might be of use to mention at future arts&culture events im attending

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