Selected Artists in Residency 2024

Pro Helvetia Kairo

Remartga: Questa artitgel è disponibla unicamain per englais.

With the aim of strengthening their networks worldwide, drawing inspiration and developing new projects. Artists and cultural practitioners from the Arab region and Switzerland get the chance to spend up to 3 months in a different context, where Pro Helvetia Cairo together with its partner organisations provides them with a place to work, professional coaching and connects them with the art scenes in the region they are placed at.

Selected artists from Switzerland:

Cindy Binnani & Edgar Tom Owino | Visual Arts

Country of residency: Morocco

Cindy Bannani graduated from the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Grenoble in 2018 and the Haute École d’Art de Berne. It is from the need to rediscover the heritage of a complex family history that she began to work on the visibility and specificity of minority histories. Descended from the “second generation of immigrants”, she is inspired by the complex history of her family and her relatives, so much so that they often find themselves involved in her work.

In April 2023, she presented her first solo institutional exhibition “Les 35 et les 99 965 autres” at the CNAC Magasin, Grenoble, curated by Céline Kopp.

Edgar Tom Owino Stockton’s work is rooted in a desire to unearth and examine those “hidden transcripts” of resistance that serve to oppose the hostility of nation states towards people who are othered. His aim is to help establish an ethical praxis of consideration and welcoming, by attempting a critical study of Derridean hospitality.

Born in Uganda in 1992 to Swiss and British parents, he holds degrees in philosophy, art history and visual arts. He lives and works in France.    

Brief description of the concept:

“For [if] the sun has no homeland” / “Car [si] le soleil n’a pas de patrie”

In 2012, when a ferry company declared bankruptcy, 200 seafarers from Tangier (Morocco) became stranded for 7 months aboard 3 boats in the port of Sète (France). An unintended consequence of global capitalism, this case highlights the urgent need to rethink the ways our societies deal with hospitality. We wish to do exactly this by working in Tangier to uncover firsthand testimonies from those involved. Our goal is to use “performative reconstruction” to help understand how survival and political resistance cohabited aboard.

Mohamed Khalil Bensid | Music

Country of residency: Algeria

A nomad from an early age, Khalil has built his career on contact with the music and cultures he has encountered on his travels in the Maghreb, sub-Saharan Africa, India, North America and Europe. Brought up on rock, funk, Raï, blues, jazz, chaabi and electro, he discovered Gnawa music in Paris in 2005. It was a revelation that prompted him to learn the guembri on his own. Returning to Geneva in 2008, he perfected his skills with Maître Gnawi Mohamed Khabba – master of Jil Gnawa – who introduced him to percussion, singing and dancing. He then became an experienced Gnawi and an active member of the Jil Gnawa group, with whom he has performed and toured since 2010. Always on the lookout for new sounds and musical experiments, Khalil co-founded Zafif with Samir Mokrani in 2017. A group exploring and combining several hypnotic and psychedelic musical styles.

Brief description of the concept:

We aim to create a vibrant platform for cultural exchange with local artists in Oran, Algeria, focusing on music and theatre. Through active participation and artistic direction, we foster collaboration and support the development of talented artists. By showcasing their potential and promoting local cultural institutions such as “Le Théâtre de la Fourmi,” our initiative aims to increase visibility and appreciation for the rich artistic scene in Oran. Thus creating meaningful connections and contributing to the growth of the local arts community.

Nadia El-Hindi | Design

Country of residency: Jordan

Nadia is from Geneva. Of Swiss, Spanish, and Syrian origins, her interest in cultural heritage and customs has greatly developed since obtaining her bachelor’s degree in industrial design from ECAL in 2020. She pays attention to the details of objects, atmospheres, and everyday habits. For several years, Nadia has been involved in various associative environments to advocate for the issues of different projects close to her heart. Seeking to combine creativity and social work, she is particularly engaged in projects and local structures that promote a multidisciplinary approach and collective reflection.

Brief description of the concept:

Jordan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Moreover, the country encourages visits to its historic sites by facilitating access with a special Pass that includes visa and entrance fees. Invisible in travel photos, a series of micro-architectures line the visitors’ path: souvenir shops. Often considered as “blemishes on the landscape” these shops nevertheless cater to the demands of tourists. This project aims to document the organization of these stalls and the type of content they offer, reflecting the Western perspective on Jordanian culture.

Selected artists from the region:

Daisam Jalo | Music

Country of residency: Switzerland

Daisam Jalo is a composer, oudist and ethnomusicologist. He gained his Bachelor of Music in 2009 from the higher institute of music in Damascus, Syria and his Master of Arts in 2014 from the university of music Weimar, Germany. Between 2017 and 2022, he worked on his PhD thesis: thematizing the role of traditional Syrian music in the cultural reconstruction of Syria. The focus of his work lies in the transcultural musical practice. His debut album “Cycles”, which blends, among others, Eastern Mediterranean music, jazz and rock, is going to be released in summer 2023.

Brief description of the concept:

“Maqam-Elegy for a distorted human being” is a composition for string sextet. It engages with the notions of time and identity respectively as a past event and as an ongoing process of construction or reconstruction. On compositional level, it utilizes interval structures from the Eastern Mediterranean region as well as European contemporary writing techniques for strings. The final composition will serve as a basis for an interdisciplinary project to be realized in Berlin 2024.

Miramar Al-Nayyar | Visual Arts

Country of residency: Switzerland

Miramar Al-Nayyar is an Iraqi visual artist, muralist and activist based between Amman, Jordan and Dubai, UAE. Her work has been showcased at Gallery Ras Ain (2017), The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (2018), NOFA Gallery (2020), among others. She has also been a participating artist at numerous art festivals and projects such as Baladk Street Art Festival (2017-2019), Distrito Grafiti Festival (2019), Wall of Contemplation project (2019), the Factory Festival (2019) and Open Art Shuffle Street art festival (2021). Firmly rooted in humanitarian beliefs, Miramar uses art as a response to injustice and gender-based discrimination.

Brief description of the concept:

“Embodied Landscapes” merges human movement with digital art, evolving from manual recordings to advanced digital techniques. This concept generates 3D digital landscapes and formations, mirroring the flexibility of flesh, by studying diverse body movements. The artist seeks to experiment with the formation of moving figures and explore their connection to nature, fostering creative freedom. Through this exploration, Miramar aspires to bridge the physical and digital realms, creating captivating visuals that transcend the fabric of Space and time as we perceive it. “Embodied Landscapes” aims to create a sensory journey, where the beauty of movement intertwines with the digital landscape, evoking a profound appreciation for the interconnectedness of the human experience and the natural world.

Myriam Amri | Visual Arts

Country of residency: Switzerland

Myriam Amri is a visual artist, filmmaker and anthropologist. Through moving-image, photography and sound she investigates the fantasies and ruins of capitalist and ecological processes in North Africa. Her works have been shown at the 32Bis in Tunis, the Protocinema exhibition in New York and Savvy Contemporary in Berlin. Her recent writings have appeared on SekkaMag, Kohl Journal, and Rusted Radishes and she is the co-founder of “Asameena”, an experimental literary collective. 

Brief description of the concept:

“Poetics of the submerged” interrogates the submerged as an ambivalent site, as much of poetic possibility as one of degradation and death. Composed of short films in the underwaters of the Southern Mediterranean as well as a series of experimentations with sound, photography and video, the project locates what’s below the water – what moves through the waves and what sinks at the bottom, who lives in bodies of water and who endlessly drowns back to seabeds, what crosses the sea and what remains on shore. Poetics of the submerged imagines new methods to linger at sea and blur the very distinction between above and below the surface.

Yara Asmar | Music

Country of Residency: Switzerland

Yara is a musician and puppeteer based in Beirut, Lebanon. She incorporates accordion and metallophone into her work.

Brief description of the concept:

“The Funerary Tapes” In a musical study of death and the myths that surround it, the funerary tapes will be a collection of tape loops recorded on accordion, metallophone and organ. Inspired by Mozart’s Musikalisches Würfelspiel, the tapes can be played simultaneously or sequentially to create various compositions.

Zineb Sekatt | Architecture/ New Media

Country of Residency: Switzerland

Zineb is a Moroccan architect interested in ephemeral architecture, light art, and new media arts. She is a graduate of the National School of Architecture in Rabat and is a self-taught artist. Coupled with her architectural know-how, Linez has been able to visualize data, experiment with interactive and generative visuals, and project onto a facade. Linez alongside GLO Collective is a part of i Light Singapore 2023 with a light installation.

Brief description of the concept:

As an architect who also works in new media arts and ephemeral installations, Zineb have always been intrigued by the possibilities of the crossover between the two universes of ephemeral architecture and light. The subject of her residency is conducting experimental architectural and artistic research around ephemeral architectural light structures that blend into diverse environments. During the day, these structures will serve architectural functions such as shelter, seating, and shading, while at night they will transform into glowing light pieces.