The heritage of the Mediterranean city, 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.
Organised with the support of the European Union's Creative Europe programme, the project '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 relied on several tools shedding new lights on both Ptolemaic Alexandria and contemporary creativity:
- Nomadic artistic residencies between Egypt and Europe
- Co-production of exhibitions in Marseille and Brussels,
- Europe-wide forums and showcases staging contemporary creations in both northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, and
- Workshops addressed at a general audience and professionals, that aims to nurture the historical, societal and artistic knowledge .
Conceived as an enabler for European and Mediterranean cooperation, ALEX ran from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2023.
The ALEX constellation brought together the Royal Domain and Museum of Mariemont, Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels (Belgium), Mucem (France), Leiden University (Netherlands), Kunsthal Aarhus (Denmark), Undo Point Centre for Contemporary Art (Cyprus), Onassis Stegi (Greece), Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto (Italy), CLUSTER (Egypt), the French Institute in Alexandria (Egypt) and Theatrum Mundi (UK).
Check the ultimate edition of our project’s newsletter, encapsulating the project’s impactful journey, milestones, and the collaborative dedication of all involved.
25 October 2023
Last stop for the project will be at Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, reflecting on a 38-month journey between artists, curators and art professionals.
The collaborative efforts of 11 organizations gave shape to travelling exhibitions, workshops and art residencies in 8 cities, intertwining to shape the project.
As a wrap up session, we invite you to an afternoon full of conversations, lectures, a performance and networking moments.
1 – 8 June, 2023
Join us for the opening of the exhibition “In Lieu of a Prism” in Alexandria, Egypt
From June 1st-8th, 2023, we unveil a captivating art exhibition featuring works by 27 talented artists at three different spaces: B’sarya for Arts, Institut français d’Égypte à Alexandrie, and 6 Bab Sharq.
17 March 2023 – 10 April 2023
On Friday 17 March, Caravan: Thinking with Alexandria opens at Kunsthal Aarhus in Denmark. The showcase comprises some of the video works, sound installations, sculptures and printed matter produced in connection with the Caravan Residency in 2022.
7.02.2023 – 13.02.2023
Aiming to explore the cities of Athens, Brussels, Marseille and Nicosia through the prism of Alexandria, the residents imagined new ways of understanding urban and social processes within trans-Mediterranean geographies.
The installation presented at the Mucem regroups the work of 16 residents.
On February 7, 2023 the opening at Mucem featured concert-performances to the public by Sam Karpienia and Ahmed Saleh, two of the artists from the School for Sonic Memory residency.
Next stop for the exhibition ‘Alexandria: Past Futures’ will be at the Mucem, Marseille from February 8 until May 8, 2023.
On Tuesday, February 7, come and discover in preview and for free the new exhibition.
After more than 3 months of public exhibition, ‘Alexandria: Past Futures’ closed its doors on January 8, 2023 at Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels.
Thank you for your visit!
Next step for the exhibition will be at the Mucem, Marseille from February 8 until May 8, 2023.
For all those who couldn’t make it at Bozar, we look forward to welcoming you soon at the Mucem.
Onassis Stegi organized on December 9-10, 2022 a public presentation of the outcome and artistic research developed by the participants during the Caravan Residency: Thinking with Alexandria.
Training of professionals: ‘Ancient Alexandria and its cultural heritage’
The Royal Museum of Mariemont will organise a two-day conference on October 28-29, 2022, presented by international specialists on ancient Alexandria.
The first day at Bozar will be devoted to ancient and recent archaeological research and the second day at Mariemont will focus on the material culture and religious landscape of Alexandria. Discover the program
Make sure to follow the account to get the latest news about the residency: @alexandria_urban_imaginaries
A look back on the School for Sonic Memory residency program
Discover the three stays that the six nomadic residents of the School for Sonic Memory made in Athens, Alexandria and Marseille to explore sound, memory and trans-Mediterranean resonances. This residency program was produced by Onassis Stegi and Theatrum Mundi. Read here
Our colleagues from Cittadellarte are currently following the residents and taking over the project’s Instagram account to document the week. Make sure to follow the account to get the latest news about the residency: Alexandria Urban Imaginaries (@alexandria_urban_imaginaries)
Following their first stop in Athens in November 2021, the nomadic residents of the School for Sonic Memory residency have the chance to further explore the themes of circulation, migration, water, and shared Mediterranean resonances and mythologies in Alexandria.
Our colleagues from Onassis Stegi are currently following the residents and taking over the project’s Instagram account to document the week. Make sure to follow the account to get the latest news about the residency: Alexandria Urban Imaginaries (@alexandria_urban_imaginaries)
On January 20-21 the symposium ‘The global cosmopolis. Past, present and future of the city of Alexandria‘ was organized in the old observatory of Leiden University and online.
Around 60 people came together each day to listen to the latest insights concerning the history and archaeology of the city of Alexandria, presented by the leading scholars in this domain.
Day 1 focused on Hellenistic and Roman Alexandria and included a lecture by Professor Nenna, the director of one of our partners, the CEAlex, presenting important recent archaeological work and discoveries.
Day 2 bridged the period between Antiquity and the present; while also discussing the issue of imagination—the myth of Alexandria and its continuing impact until today. It ended with a presentation of the exhibition prepared by our team; that was enthusiastically welcomed by the audience.
Many thanks to all the speakers for their important contributions!
This public symposium was organised by the Faculty of Archeology of Leiden University as part of the Alexandria project, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Starting 20th of January : Public symposium: ‘The global cosmopolis. Past, present and future of the city of Alexandria’
This public symposium presents a (selective) overview of the development of the city in these cosmopolitan terms. The first day will focus on the period of Antiquity; the second on the era after Antiquity and Alexandria’s future.
This symposium is meant to present, for a general audience, some of the results of the Leiden VICI project ‘Innovating objects’ that was carried out in close cooperation with the Centre d’Études Alexandrines (https://www.cealex.org/). It also ties in with the Europe Creative project ‘Alexandria: (Re)activating Common Urban Imaginaries’ that explores the relations between art, heritage and urban life for the city and aims at using Alexandria’s cosmopolitan past to build a better (urban) future.
You do not want to miss it
Leiden – Old Observatory (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/old-observatory) room B 104
and online (how to connect)
Thursday, January 20 2022 – 9:00 till 13:00
Friday, January 21 2022 – 9:00 till 12:30
School for Sonic Memory – week in Alexandria
6th and 13th of February 2022
Following the successful residency week in Athens, the nomadic residents will have the chance to further explore the themes of circulation, migration, water, and shared Mediterranean resonances and mythologies in Alexandria, the second stop of the itinerant residency. From listening sessions that explore community radios and iskandarani folk rhythms to an in-depth presentation of the hydraulic system in Alexandria, the artists will get to delve deeper into some of the lesser-known aspects of these Mediterranean routes.
The School for Sonic Memory residency is a pluri-disciplinary nomadic program exploring sound, memory and trans-Mediterranean resonances, produced by our partners Onassis Stegi and Theatrum Mundi. The first week of the residency took place in Athens in November 2021.
Upcoming symposium in Leiden: ‘The global cosmopolis. Past, present and future of the city of Alexandria’
Public symposium, January 20-21, 2022
Leiden – Old Observatory, (https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/old-observatory) room B 104 and online
Thursday January 20 2022
Alexandria in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt: urban image and cultural identity
Friday January 21 2022
Alexandria after Antiquity: urban image and cultural identity
Alexandria now: Global heritage, art and development
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 of the exhibition ‘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 School for 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 for 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