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 ?