The project “Alexandria: (re)activating common urban imaginaries” (ALEX) aims to take a fresh look at the many challenges faced by the arts and heritage sectors, through the symbolic and historical prism of the city of Alexandria and its influences on urban development in the Mediterranean and beyond.
To do so, it relies on several tools: the setting up of nomadic artistic residencies between Egypt and Europe, the production of exhibitions in the cities of Marseille and Brussels, as well as the organisation of professional seminars and public forums.
The ALEX project aims to shed light, through the development of new cultural and artistic perspectives, on the heritage of the Mediterranean city, which remains insufficiently explored and understood. By facilitating the mobility of artists interested in comparatively interpreting the current urban fabric in European cities and Alexandria, while questioning existing perception through a scientific and historical awareness-raising approach, the project intends to give a voice to innovative reflections on the relationships established between creation, culture, heritage, and the development of the modern Mediterranean and European metropolis.
Thus, the ALEX project will take visitors, contemporary artists, scientists and activists on a journey between heritage and creation, between the north and south of the Mediterranean, in a quest for what today constitutes our imaginaries of the city, its origin and its future.
Conceived as an enabler for European and Mediterranean cooperation, ALEX will run from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2023.
The project, supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, draws on the resources of eight main partners: the Royal Museum of Mariemont (Morlanwelz, Belgium), the Palais des Beaux-Arts “BOZAR” (Brussels, Belgium), Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, Italy), the Museum of the Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean “MUCEM” (Marseille, France), the Onassis Stegi (Athens, Greece), the University of Leiden (the Netherlands), the Kunsthall of Aarhus (Denmark) and the Undo Point Contemporary Art Centre (Nicosia, Cyprus).
In addition, the project benefits from the support of associated partners contributing to its success elsewhere in Europe and in Egypt: the French Institute of Alexandria (Egypt), CLUSTER (Egypt) and Theatrum Mundi (United Kingdom).
Among other actions, ALEX includes two residency cycles which will evolve independently but which will encounter each other at various moments during the project cycle:
• The Caravan Residency Program: Thinking with Alexandria conceived and realized by UNIDEE residency programs at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Italy and curated together with Edwin Nasr and in conversation with Sarah Rifky.
• The Politics of Heritage – School for Sonic Memory Residency, organised by Onassis Stegi in collaboration with Theatrum Mundi.
Announcement of the selected artists for “Caravan Residency Program: Thinking with Alexandria”: Islam Shabana (Egypt), Neja Tomsic (Slovenia), Zeynep Kaserci (UK, Turkey), Chiara Cartuccia (UK, Italy), Tahir Onur Çimen (Turkey), Sara Fakhry Ismail (Egypt), Post Disaster (Italy), Christopher French (UK), Lodovica Guarnieri (UK, Italy), George Moraitis (Greece), Mark Lotfy (Egypt), Mahmoud El Safadi (Lebanon), Stella Ioannidou (Greece), Omnia Sabry (Egypt), Sotiris Tsiganos (Greece), Eva Frapiccini (Italy).
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SELECTED ARTISTS for the “Nomadic Mediterranean Residency Programme: Politics of Heritage – School for sonic memory”: Onyeka Igwe (UK, Nigeria), Asmaa Jama (UK, Denmark), Maria Sideri (Greece), Youmna Saba (France, Lebanon), Hatem Hegab (Germany, Egypt),Monai de Paula Antunes (Germany, Brazil).