On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Goethe-Institut in Cairo, the German Minister of State for International Cultural Policy, Michelle Müntefering, has issued the following statement in Berlin:
“Egypt leads the field in cooperation on cultural relations and education in the region. To drive dialogue forward, open exchange between our societies where nothing is off limit is today more important than ever. The Goethe-Institut provides the platform and it is now impossible to imagine our multifaceted German-Egyptian relations without it. Congratulations on six decades of successful language and cultural work in Egypt!”
Within the context of the long, broad-based tradition of cultural exchange between Germany and Egypt, the Goethe-Institut was established in Cairo in 1958 when it offered its first language courses. Later, a library was added as well as a diverse cultural programme. The modern, new building in the Egyptian capital is now one of the largest centres of the Goethe-Institut in the world with a staff of more than 80. In 1963, a second branch was opened in Alexandria.
The event celebrating the 60th anniversary on 10 May was attended by Professor Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of the Goethe-Institut, and Julius Georg Luy, German Ambassador to Egypt. As part of the anniversary celebrations, Ambassador Luy presented the Egyptian Misr al-Kheir Foundation with the Goethe-Institut library bus for which the Federal Foreign Office has provided funding, thus underscoring the importance of cooperation with local partners for cultural relations and education policy.
The 60-year anniversary celebration included an interactive installation titled Spectrum, by Egyptian artists Heba Abul-Ela and Jacqueline George. Spectrum was a live installation that combined sculpture, light, and sound, and invited audiences to enter a space where these elements interact with their movements.
Abul-Ela is a light and visual artist who graduated in 2017 with a major in sculpture from Helwan University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, joined a light design workshop with Swedish light designer Charlie Austrom and French light designer Christoph Guillemert. She then joined another workshop in 2016 with Studio Khana at the Austrian Culture Center.
George is a sound artist who integrates sounds from the city with performance and other media. Her work is concerned with subjects like self-image, time, and invisible reality. She participated in several international events including Le Festival MIMI in France, the MULTI Surround Sound System concert series, Borealis festival in Norway, Sound Acts Festival in Greece, among many others.
13 April 2018