Organised with the support of the European Union's Creative Europe programme, the project 'Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries' (ALEX) aims to take a fresh look at the relation between arts, heritage and urban life in the Mediterranean and in Europe, through the prism of the antic and modern cities of Alexandria, their creativity and cosmopolitanism.
To do so, it relies on several tools shedding new lights on both Ptolemaic Alexandria and contemporary creativity: the setting up of nomadic artistic residencies between Egypt and Europe, the co-production of exhibitions in the cities of Marseille and Brussels, and Europe-wide forums and showcases staging contemporary creations in both northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.
Based on these experiences, the project will also be an opportunity for partners, cultural sector stakeholders, researchers and public decision makers, to try and build a collective knowledge aiming at enriching the state of the art of heritage and cultural practices and policies in European and the Mediterranean cities.
Conceived as an enabler for European and Mediterranean cooperation, ALEX will run from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2023.
The project draws on the resources of eight main partners:
- the Museum of the Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean 'Mucem' (France)
- the University of Leiden (the Netherlands)
- Kunsthal Aarhus (Denmark)
- the Undo Point Contemporary Art centre (Cyprus)
- the Royal Museum of Mariemont (Belgium)
- Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels (Belgium)
- Onassis Stegi (Greece)
- the Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy)
In addition, the project benefits from the support of associated partners contributing to its success elsewhere in Europe and in Egypt:
- Theatrum Mundi (France - United Kingdom)
- the French Institute of Alexandria (Egypt)
- CLUSTER (Egypt)
The first newsletter of the project, prepared and edited with care by the project partners, is now available on our website :
Come and discover some exclusive content, including an interview by “Alexandria : Past Future” curators, offering a first glimpse of the future exhibition to be held in Bozar and Mucem in 2022 and 2023 !
Exhibitions, showcases, residencies and workshops, we keep you posted.
The name for the exhibition of the Alexandria European project has been revealed : Alexandria: Past Futures / Alexandrie : Futurs Antérieurs
Past Futures revisits the former megapolis at the height of its history, highlighting its urban, political and religious organization and some of the numerous scientific innovations and philosophical expressions that shaped it into one of the ancient world’s civilizational centers. By examining multilayered temporalities, the exhibition also echoes dominant accounts of Alexandria as one through which successive civilizations and political formations of the past have rehearsed visions of futures that are either no longer present or remain felt through the city’s material culture and its built environment.
The exhibition, to be hosted in Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts Brussels (23.09.2022 – 08.01.2023) and Mucem, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Marseille (08.02.2023 – 08.05.2023), is curated by the Musée Royal de Mariemont (Arnaud Quertinmont and Nicolas Amoroso), Edwin Nasr and Sarah Rifky.
The School of Sonic Memory residency programme – a nomadic Mediterranean residency programme for sound and urban heritage
Having received more than 250 applications from musicians, sound artists, architects, visual artists, activists, urbanists, collectives, researchers, performance and filmmakers and other practitioners, the School of Sonic Memory residency programme will be co-shaped by 6 selected participants in collaboration with a group of local artists in three Mediterranean cities: Athens, Alexandria & Marseille.
Together, and in collaboration with local artists, urbanists and researchers, the 6 participants will form a ‘school’ for sonic memory, investigating the ways that three cities across the Mediterranean resonate with one another, how elements of a connected and conflictual past are made audible within them.
The selected artists will join a 6-month production process, based around 3 one-week creative research residencies:
– Athens, November 2021
– Alexandria, February 2022
– Marseille, March 2022
A public event/ public assembly will also be organised in Athens in summer 2022 to publicly present the results of the residency programme and the artistic & research methodology.
A final week-long event will be organised in Biella, Italy in July 2022 to share insights and the results of the residency.
Onyeka Igwe (UK/Nigeria)
Asmaa Jama (Denmark)
Maria Sideri (Greece)
Youmna Saba (Lebanon)
Hatem Hegab (Egypt)
Monai de Paula Antunes (Brazil/Germany).
Caravan: Thinking with Alexandria
The caravan residency programme aims to survey the European cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille and Nicosia, through the lens of Alexandria and its contested urban imaginaries.
Having received more than 600 applications from artists, activists, collectives, researchers, performance and filmmakers and other practitioners, the Caravan residency programme will be co-shaped by 16 selected participants in collaboration with 5 local social entrepreneurs who will guide the artists in relating to and understanding urban, infrastructural and social processes and formations in the cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille, Nicosia and Alexandria.
Sixteen participants are selected to partake in a field, discursive and practice-based programme in conversation with the residency curators, social entrepreneurs and a range of tutors and presenters working across diverse disciplines and contexts, to be tailored to the group.
The residency is outcome based, and participants are expected to develop a final project as part of the programme’s conclusion which will be then showcased as part of the Forums: Contemporary Alexandria in Athens Biella, Marseille, Alexandria and Aarhus.
Islam Shabana (Egypt)
Neja Tomsic (Slovenia)
Zeynep Kaserci (resident in UK, Turkey)
Chiara Cartuccia (resident in UK, Italy)
Tahir Onur Çimen (Turkey)
Sara Fakhry Ismail (Egypt)
Post Disaster (Italy)
Christopher French (UK)
Ludovica Guarnieri (resident in UK, Italy)
Georgios Moraitis (Greece)
Mark Lotfy (Egypt)
Mahmoud El Safadi (Lebanon)
Stella Ioannidou (Greece)
Omnia Sabry (Egypt)
Latent Community (Sotiris Tsiganos and Jonian Bisai (Greece))
Eva Frapiccini (Italy)
To be announced soon