The Embassy of Switzerland in Cairo today celebrates the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia by a performance of “You & Me” by Swiss mask theatre troupe Mummenschanz at the Cairo Opera House.
Pro Helvetia’s regional office in Cairo opened in 1988 and has since been very actively engaged in cultural exchanges between Switzerland and the Arab region. Its programme is interdisciplinary in nature. Special emphasis is placed on the disciplines of contemporary dance, theatre, music, visual arts and literature. The regional office is currently headed by Dalia Suleiman.
“For thirty years, Pro Helvetia Cairo has been raising awareness in the Arab world of Swiss culture, and building strong rapports with talented artists from all over the Arab region. We are very excited to be celebrating Pro Helvetia 30th anniversary in Cairo with this event and other events to come. Switzerland strongly believes in the power of cultural exchange in bringing nations together,” said Paul Garnier, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Egypt.
Ambassador Garnier will deliver a speech to the public before the performance of Switzerland’s Mummenschanz during the opening of the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre. The festival’s management has chosen Switzerland as the guest of honour this year in celebration of Pro Helvetia Cairo’s 30th anniversary, and will be honouring the founder of Mummenschanz, Florian Falsetto, during the festival.
The unique Mummenschanz troupe is often described as “musicians of silence.” They wear masks throughout their theatrical performances, which combine mime and dance without verbal exchange or music.