Who we are
Despite the fact, that contemporary art has a strong intellectual content, most of contemporary artworks do not receive the appropriate resonance in the Egyptian media. We can see today only a limited number of critical articles dedicated to contemporary art. Maybe because the artworks carry a complicated political and philosophical message, which is not easy to comprehend or to promote in the media, or maybe because reflecting on contemporary art is no longer limited to the specialists. Social media and some other non-specialized online platforms make it possible for each one to publish his or her comments and reflections on artistic, sociopolitical and even scientific topics.
Through the website territorycrossings, which is dedicated solely to topics of contemporary art, Pro Helvetia Cairo aims to examine whether discussions about contemporary art could attract a big audience. It also raises questions about the impact contemporary art has on the society and tackles the conditions of producing and receiving contemporary artworks in the Swiss and Egyptian contexts.
By using an online platform, Pro Helvetia Cairo corresponds to the increasing interest in online platforms in Egypt and in the whole world. In addition, publishing articles about contemporary art expressions from Switzerland and Egypt online could transgress the geographic borders, which enhances the dialogue between the two art scenes, which are geographically distant from each other.
The first edition of the website discussed issues of art in public spaces, while the second issue tackled theatre. The third edition will be dedicated to literature, which is well received in the Egyptian cultural scene, given the long publishing tradition in Egypt. This edition is curated by Eva Stensrud from Switzerland and Ehab Elmallah from Egypt. The illustrations were made by Egyptian artist Walid Taher.
territorycrossings is a platform, which is not limited to articles, as it also publishes videos, audio files and visual images. This is only possible through the wide choice of tools and instruments the online platform could offer like youtube for example. These different tools of expressions make terrirorycrossings vivid, diverse and attractive to the audience.
Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council, is a foundation under public law established by the Swiss Government in 1939 and entirely funded by public money. Pro Helvetia Cairo is the first of Pro Helvetia representations abroad, set up at 1988 to cover countries in the Arab region in addition to Egypt.