Art Alert: Goethe hosts talks on cultural policy in times of change

Ahram Online, Tuesday 21 May 2013

Cairo's Goethe Institute hosts a series of talks, starting 29 May, on culture policy and strategies in times of political and social change

Goethe Institute
Photo: Courtesy of Goethe Institute

On Wednesday 29 May, the Goethe Institute in Cairo will launch a series of talks on culture policy and practice in transition, with the first talk on the role of arts and culture in social change, under the title "Between Aesthetics and Strategies: Culture Policy in Times of Change."

The talk will be moderated by Mohamed El-Shahed, who is studying for a PhD in Middle East Studies, focusing on urban planning and architecture in Egypt. The panel includes Mona Abaza, sociology professor at the American University in Cairo, Bassem Yousry, video artist and experimental filmmaker, and actress and artist Zeinab Magdy.

According to the press release, since the revolution took place, Egypt is seeing an undeniable upsurge in the arts and culture field and special attention from donors from Europe and the United States to fund the different cultural projects and initiatives. In addition, culture capitals around the world such as Paris, London and Berlin have been hosting culture events around the Egyptian revolution and Arab Spring.

The series of talks is Goethe Institute's own intervention, to gain a deeper insight into the relationship between local and international cultural policies and the sustainability of cultural institutions. The talks will also tackle the difference between the local needs and international expectations of international institutions on the financial support of the local scene, and the organisation of these relationships.

Finally, the series will touch upon the representation and politics of identity and the complex relationship between the north and south.

7pm, Wednesday 29 May
Goethe Institute, 5 El-Bostan Street, downtown Cairo
Discussion will be in English, with Arabic translation available

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