Platform for discussion003
Can Artistic Practices Negotiate the Demands of Cultural Institutions, Public Space, and Civil Society?
The two-year-old MASS Alexandria, founded by artist Wael Shawky in the working-class neighbourhood of Miami in east Alexandria, Egypt, aims to create a space for the production and dissemination of ideas and debates concerning contemporary visual culture. Apart from displaying and encouraging the consumption of art through exhibitions, it creates an open platform and a discursive space for encountering, (con)testing, and contributing to ideas in and around the practice of contemporary visual art and interdisciplinary studies. MASS Alexandria is a seven-month-long programme for artists in Egypt, which provides studio spaces and a study programme comprising discussions, workshops, seminars and reading groups delivered by visiting artists, curators and art educators based in Egypt and across the globe. Artists are invited to participate in the programme through an open call and as well as being provided with a studio space, take part in a study programme and receive mentoring by leading artists and curators. They also show their work in a group exhibition at the end of the programme. The discursive, open-ended and participatory programme is committed primarily to fostering critical engagement and creating a space for new ideas and approaches.
What is a platform?
A platform is a space for speaking in public. It is an opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. It also suggests the formal declaration of a stance or position on any given subject.
Unique to Ibraaz is a 'platform', a question put to writers, thinkers and artists about an issue relevant to the MENA region. This platform is sent to respondents both within and beyond the MENA region and contributions will be archived every 12 months.