Cross Cultural Media

CROSS CULTURAL MEDIA // Egyptian-German Ethnographies of Political and Social Transformation

“Family Stories – My sister, my aunt and the cousin of my grandmother…”

An artistic research workshop with 23 students of the German University in Cairo (GUC) and HFU Furtwangen University (HFU)  May 20-26 2013 in Cairo.

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”18″]

Concept, Organization and Project Management: Magdalena Kallenberger (GUC) and Professor Daniel Fetzner (HFU Furtwangen) in collaboration with Dr. phil. Marion Mangelsdorf (Freiburg University), Prof. Nikolaus von Wolf (GUC). With contributions by Iman Kamel (filmmaker Berlin/Cairo), Ute Freud (cinematographer Berlin), Marouan Omara (visual artist and filmmaker Cairo) and Anna Schreiner (Master Student Gender Studies Freiburg University).

Collaboration Partners: German University in Cairo, HFU Furtwangen, University of Freiburg, DAAD, Goethe Institute Cairo

Cross Cultural Media is funded by the DAAD Program for “civic social transformation processes”


Workshop Results and Documentation: CROSS-CULTURAL MEDIA // Egyptian-German Ethnographies


“Between the earth and sky above, nothing can match a grandmother’s love.” performative serie of photographs by Ebru Metin, Dina Hany

A letter to my father, text-audio-visual experiment by Sara Sallam, Manuel Kalla, Ghada Fikri, Jonas Konstandin

[vimeo 70783221 Letter to my father]

“A letter to my father” is a text-audio-visual experiment that explores social transformations within the structure of families. It takes us for a journey of memories, intimate emotions, and conflicts that manifest themselves in written words. Through the form of letters, overlapped with visual and audible interpretations of their content, we experiment with fragments of memories trying to see through our own complexities. The process of writing the letters in itself was the trigger of transformation within this multilayered relationship that reveals insights on cultural, social and personal characteristics within the two countries. We invite the audience to keep notice of their personal interpretations of their own families, also in the form of written words.”

Inbetween, 2 channel video installation by Nadia Wernli, Tobias Hornstein, Doha Salah

[vimeo 70427177 Inbetween]

»It is the personal words about freedom, which know how to define the family, society and the state. Words that create a state of uncertainty inbetween both sides. Only penetration produces this openness. But openness is at the same time both a weakening and a strengthening. To endure the influx of the Other to the limits of identity, to lose only oneself, can be the way to find oneself.«



Based on the cooperation signed between GUC and HFU in summer 2011 we got an approval in the DAAD Program for “civic social transformation processes” . Our project will be carried out in cooperation with the Goethe Institute Cairo and is based on our succesfull cooperation Cross Cultural Video from 2012.

Topic: “Family Stories – My sister, my aunt and the cousin of my grandmother…”

Due to the sensitive political situation in Egypt and the difficulties of working in and on public spaces, we decided to focus on transformation processes within family structures in Egypt and Germany. Within the 5 days workshop, which will take place at the Tahrir Lounge at Goethe Institute Cairo, we will investigate family relations in a broad perspective. The bases of our research could include the family we were born in as well as our virtual family and e.g. the position of “your sister” could be replaced as well by a soulmate.

In this workshop, student will get introduced to different methods and strategies of practice based research in the field or art and design. They will collect various medial transformable material using photography, video, text and sound. Working in bi-national teams of two, the students will get guided through the process of information gathering, selection, structuring, analysis, contextualization and evaluation of the collected material. The organizers and contributors will assist the students according to their practical and theoretical background during the workshop such as how to set light, stage scenes etc. as well as how to produce a project within a sensitive cultural and political setting.

The outcome of the project will be presented at the symposium “Body, Media, Sensuality” in Freiburg/Germany from July 12-14 as well as at the DAAD office in Cairo in autumn 2013. In addition a publication is planned to disseminate the research to a broader scientific community.

The project is set up as an extra-curricular activity individually organized and conducted by Magdalena Kallenberger and Prof. Daniel Fetzner in collaboration with the GUC, HFU Furtwangen and kindly supported by the DAAD and Goethe Institute Cairo.


03.04.2013    Announcement and Open Call at ON SPOT / FASA
10.04. 2013    Informational Meeting and anncouncement  of two short assignments to select and set up the bi-national teams
24.04.2013    Deadline Pre-Assignments
25.04.2013    Setting up the bi-national teams
Preparation / first contact online
20.05. – 26.05.2013 Workshop in Cairo
20.07.- 24.07. 2013 Presentation at the symposium “Body, Media, Sensuality”
September Presentation at DAAD office Zamalek