|It has been a month now since the fast developments of Covid-19. Most of the countries are under lockdown, quarantine, or curfew. Cultural events and gatherings are suspended in the Arab region, likewise in the whole world to help prevent the spread of the pandemic; but conversations about art are still ongoing, on all levels, personal, professional, governmental and independent.
In this time of crisis and isolation, the role of art becomes more central to our lives whether we realize it or not. People all over the world are putting up live streams, broadcasts, writing and creating stories on social media channels, sharing favorite playlists, songs, videos and artwork; they play music, and dance while they can, to reach out beyond isolation and share what they love. In this time of restriction, different types of art offer us a chance to be mobile, to move around freely in a fictional world in a way that is now possible, and because the need to hear stories is as strong as it is to tell them. Art connects us to the foreign, the exotic and the impossible. Artists out there are creating, focusing and developing ideas and concepts, and inspiring us! they are shaping the history of a very hard time.
Our head office has created a special dossier “Info hub Covid-19” to provide information on the latest developments in the cultural sector for artists and cultural practitioners. You can find a lot of resources and you can also share information that you find important for cultural practitioners and organisations promoting artistic and cultural creation via: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Here is a also a link to Pro Helvetia’s Director Philippe Bischof’s words regarding measures taken by Pro Helvetia and the confederation.
Currently our team in Cairo is working on financial reimbursement plans of the cancelled projects and on finding alternative solutions with our partners and artists in Switzerland and in the Arab region. Therefore, we will be in touch with everyone whose project was cancelled or postponed during the next two weeks.
In the upcoming period, our team will keep working from home, following the official health recommendations but we will keep working closely with our partners and artists in the Arab region and Switzerland to investigate new formats of collaborations and creations; and we are open to ideas, proposals, and suggestions to sustain the exchange between both regions.
In this newsletter, we chose to highlight two initiatives from artists that were part of our Spring program, encouraging people to #StayHome.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with workers in the health and service sectors across the world, currently standing on the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take precautions to stay healthy and safe.
Pro Helvetia Cairo