Arab Artists is a project by Zuker e.V.
Exchanging for a common understanding
Zuker is a non-profit organisation with the goal to increase the cultural exchange between Europe and the Arab world, to connect artists from both regions and to thus foster the common understanding between their societies. The name of the association “Zuker” is inspired by the cross-cultural aspect of sugar, which was brought to Europe through the Arab world showing how cultures interchange and nourish each other.
Cultural life and exchange in the Arab world have seen vibrant times marked by regular high-profile culture and art events, international exhibitions, projects, art workshops, and festivals supported by an abundance of local and international institutions. As these institutions have reduced or partly even stopped their engagement over the recent years due to political developments in some countries, various activities have ceased and opportunities for cultural exchange that foster mutual understanding have become less. Instead, difficulties for artists to find funding and support have increased. Therefore, new organisations like “Zuker” might help fill some gaps and (re-)open doors and possibilities for exchange, particularly in the art scene. The effort is targeted to support artists and projects across Europe and in the Arab world to create connections between artists, inspire their work and thus help cross-cultural understanding through art. Given the tense political environment, the need for such exchange and understanding has increased recently.
· Facilitate cultural exchange between artists of both cultural backgrounds, and thus create networks between them and their societies
· Familiarise the public and artists with contemporary work from Europe and the Arab world
· Help artists gain international exposure, find inspiration, and eventually develop artistically
· Offer an additional source of support to artists to develop and realise their projects beyond the work of the official institutions
The association essentially wants to offer a non-profit art space for cultural and artistic exchange focusing on photography and video art. “Zuker” aims to support artists through programs and activities, like:
· Organising exhibitions, art festivals, artist-in-residencies, workshops, and educational seminars
· Providing equipment and facilities for artists to realise their projects
· Connecting individuals and art organisations to seed future collaborations
· Establishing an online platform that will also document the events
· The association will be a registered charitable non-profit association with a board composed of seven members
· Funding is aspired through membership fees, donations/grants from non-/governmental art institutions, donations from public and private organisations, and potentially crowd-funding
Zuker – a word as a culture product
The organisation is named “Zuker”, which refers to the words used for sugar in Europe (1) and the Arabic word “سُكَّر/sukkar”, which share an Indo-European origin. The word traveled from the Arab world and from there to Europe as did “Zucker”/“ سُكَّر/sukkar” itself, showing how cultures interchange and nourish each other. It is as essential as it is an integral part of our lives as it caters to a basic need of all people. It comes in different shades and is basically non-perishable – as is culture.
(1) EN: Sugar, DE: Zucker, FR: Sucre, IT: Zucchero, ES: Azúcar