Established in 1988, the Cairo liaison office of Pro Helvetia is committed to cultural exchange and artistic collaboration between Switzerland and the Arab region.
Our team of local experts facilitates and supports professional encounters between artistic scenes in the disciplines supported by Pro Helvetia. We forge ties with event organisers and nurture long-term partnerships with relevant platforms to support the promotion and dissemination of Swiss arts in the region. Our grants enable residencies and research trips in both directions to foster cultural exchange.
Whom do we address?
Where we operate
Our funding activities
Our residency partners
Below is a selection of residency partners in the region. This network is varied and in flux, responding to the dynamic contexts of the region. Located in urban centres and rural settings, our partners work across a variety of disciplines and formats in fixed spaces or as open platforms. Artists applying for a residency may specify which partner best fits their proposal. Please note that in case of selection, the partner institution may change depending on availability.
List of residency partners as a table
|ARD contemporary art institution
|ARD is an art institution founded by Hana El-Beblawy in 2022 and specialized in the field of contemporary art practices within the local and international art scene. It presents a diversified program that includes many artistic activities stemming from the surrounding affairs and is open to the world. The program includes; artistic residencies, exhibitions, workshops, and other art alternatives which ARD is seeking to provide as services that would contribute to effective artistic patterns in the society. It also strives for a fruitful art scene that is not constrained by the traditional standards of the art market.
|Bayt Yakan is a 17th century building located in al-Darb al-Ahmar district in the heart of Historic Cairo. It entails and exhibits historic elements that interprets the historic of Cairo during that span of time. It is situated in Suq al-Silah St, just 5 minutes’ walk from midan al-Qalaa’ and al-Rifa’ mosque, and 10 minutes from al-Azhar Park. Saved from demolition, it was restored and rehabilitated to accommodate several activities, residencies, lecture halls for community engagement and academic programs, a library and a gallery where exhibitions of various nature are held.
|Multiple (Litreature/Architecture/Design), among others
|B’sarya for Arts
|B’sarya is an independent art space located in the heart of Alexandria, Egypt. It is dedicated to the development of the contemporary art scene in the disciplines of music and photography, through the organization of artistic residencies and photography exhibitions, as well as the release of music productions. It commissions performances that tackle issues related to ecology and climate change, such as the audio-visual performances titled “The Sea Around Us” and “Waking The Giants”.
|Multiple (Music, Visual Arts) among others
|Medrar for contemporary art
|Medrar for Contemporary Art is a non-profit art space based in Cairo, Egypt, offering an open platform for conversations and collaborations between artists, as well as institutions, critics, curators, programmers and techies both locally and internationally. Started as a collective in 2005, Medrar has since been acting as a base for emerging and mid-career artists and diffusing experimentations at the intersection of new and diverse practices, media, and technologies. Through experimental and collaborative programs, it facilitates opportunities for mobility, exposure and the development of an independent and dynamic movement of local artists. Alongside multiple activities, Medrar is committed to expanding its five key projects: the Cairo Video Festival, Roznama Competition and Exhibition, Roznama Studio Program, Medrar TV, Medrar Studio and MedRX Portal.
|Video art, interactive media, digital art
|Megawra-BEC is a platform for debate and action in the built environment with a focus on theory, praxis, art and linking cultural heritage to sustainability and social responsibility. A partnership between Egyptian NGO, the Built Environment Collective and its professional arm, Megawra, it runs a program of cultural events in addition to Athar Lina Initiative in al-Khalifa.
|Multiple (Architecture, urbanism, design, among others)
|Jordan National Gallery for Fine Arts
|The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts is the region’s leading art museum with its unique Permanent Collection that comprises over 3000 works including drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, video art, installations, graphic art, and photography, by artists from the Islamic and Developing Worlds, mainly from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.
|Multiple (Visual art, Performing arts, among others)
|Since 2014, Studio 8 has collaborated with more than 450 people of 38 nationalities in creating 10 original dance productions, giving more than 40 performances, and organizing more than 120 classes and workshops.
Studio 8 has also made more than 100 dance videos, co-created artist residencies, exhibitions, dance discussions, community art walks and a street art fair.
|L’appartement 22 is an independent, collaborative project founded by Abdellah Karroum and based in Rabat, Morocco.
|Casa Blanca, Morocco
|La Parallèle is a space for art, learning and openness, where everyone can progress at their own pace. Workshops and courses in theatre, dance, music and well-being.
La Parallèle has three workspaces with parquet flooring, a co-working space and a large roof terrace, ideal for relaxing after activities.
The teaching team is made up entirely of artists from renowned Moroccan companies such as IRTIJAL, COI’JAM and La Cabane à films. Co-directed by Fanny Dalmau and Ghassan El, this new space is all about professionalism and a passion for sharing.
|Music, Performing arts
|The Cube – independent art room is an exhibition, residence and research space focused on contemporary artistic practices. Its approach revolves around projects raising contextualized social, cultural, and political questions, and encourages proposals that question History and narratives. In this dynamic, Le Cube designs and develops a vast program of exhibitions that link artistic issues to other dimensions of research, in order to conduct a constantly evolving reflection on our environment. A place of analysis and experimentation, Le Cube defends an approach where the reflections and points of view of artists and audiences are expressed.
|Mahal art space
|Multiple (Visual arts, digital arts, among others)
|Think Tanger is a cultural platform dedicated to the exploration of urban challenges arising in the city of Tangier. It serves as a platform to concretely address and highlight social and spatial impacts of urban matters, through projects operating at the crossroads of visual arts, design, participatory research and urban practices.
|Multiple (Visual arts, design, urbanism, among others)
|The 32bis is a hybrid and alternative place for research, creation, exhibition and knowledge sharing. 2 buildings, 4 levels, 4,000 m²: the 32bis is located within the walls of the former Philips headquarters, built in 1953 in the heart of Tunis.
|Elbirou Art Gallery
|Inaugurated in December 2015, Elbirou Art Gallery is an independent cultural platform for international exchanges and support for young emerging artists. The work in favor of contemporary art of the master of the place is inseparable from his love for photography which spontaneously led him to divert an old family wool warehouse dating from the 1960s into a very recent art gallery benefiting from a strategic location in the heart of the city of Sousse. Elbirou is a platform intended to host artistic manifestations of all forms as well as various cultural events: exhibitions, installations, meetings (talks, presentation of works, concerts, performances, etc.).
|Kamel Lazaar Foundation
|Since its founding in 2005, the Kamel Lazaar Foundation for Art and Culture has launched several actions and projects whose local and regional effects highlight the vitality and diversity of the cultural scene in the MENA region. The Foundation supports research, publication, and exhibition initiatives, and regularly organizes debates, symposiums, and seminars. It supports the production and accompaniment of artists through residencies and artists’ workshops, and develops partnerships and exchanges with international cultural actors, in order to promote Tunisia as a hub for contemporary art.
|L’Art Rue is a shared and transversal space, in the heart of the city of Tunis but intimately linked to what’s around, where artists from here and there meet and connect with citizens, activists and experts of the city and the Tunis life. With the hope of creating, poeticizing and transforming a territory collectively, with the urgency of making city and society together, L’Art Rue puts openness, proximity and the legacy of creation at the centre of its effort to reach out to and include diverse stakeholders, united by a free imagination of a common future.
|Performing arts, music
|Rhizome’s initiative aims to support the professionalization of local emerging artists; restructure Rhizome through strategic planning, legal structure, team set-up and financial sustainability; and strengthen Rhizome’s social dimension by developing its audience engagement programs.
|Visual arts, music
Frequently asked questions
I am an artist from the Arab region. What funding opportunities does Pro Helvetia offer?
Please find the relevant formats under Find support. Make sure to select the parameters that suit you.
I am an artist from the Arab region and I want to present my work in Switzerland. Can Pro Helvetia fund me?
No. We do not normally support the presentation of work through, for example, exhibitions and tours in Switzerland. Please refer to artlink for funding opportunities relating to presenting work in Switzerland.
I am an artist from the Arab region, am I eligible for a work grant?
No. As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia supports work grant for artists with Swiss nationality or with permanent residence in Switzerland.
Applicants who have completed a research trip or a residency supported by Pro Helvetia may apply for a co-creation grant.
I am a student and am looking for support. Can Pro Helvetia fund me?
No. We do not fund tertiary education.
I am an artist from the Arab region and I want to apply for funding for a project in another country within the region. Can Pro Helvetia fund me?
No. We only support projects that have a clear Swiss dimension or connection, involving Swiss arts professionals.
Do you host and organise cultural events or educational programmes?
Pro Helvetia Cairo is not a cultural center and does not host, curate, or organize cultural events nor educational programs. All projects supported by Pro Helvetia Cairo are led and organised by Swiss and Arab partners.
I have a project proposal, but no Swiss partner. Can Pro Helvetia introduce me to relevant Swiss partners?
Please contact the respective programme manager for your region.
Do you have a question and would like to speak with a team member?
The team at a glance