Logo Zuker Association


Zuker

Euro-Arab Culture Association


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.

Background:

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.

Goals:

· 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

Concept:

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

Organisational set-up:
· 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

Activities:

Group Exhibition:
The Classroom - La Salle de Classe

With works by:
Hicham Benohoud
Hicham Matini
Curated by:
Katharina Maria Raab

Exhibition Hosted by: The German-Arab Friendship Association (DAFG), Berlin
2019

The exhibition "The Classroom – La Salle de Classe" presents works by two Moroccan artists of
different generations who are concerned with the lives of children and adolescents in Morocco:
Hicham Benohoud and Hicham Matini. In a poetic-surreal way, they take a critical look at the children’s
everyday lives in school and their role in society, their handling of media images, their dreams, fears
and hopes.
In cooperation with Zuker e.V. and Galerie Katharina Maria Raab.
For further information on the exhibition, please see the invitation and the exhibition flyer.

Zuker e.V. in cooperation with:
The German-Arab Friendship Association (DAFG) and Katharina Maria Raab Gallery

--

Group Exhibition:
Power Struggle

With works by
Ali & Ramyar
Negar Alemzadeh Gorji
Mahi Binebine
Mostafa Choobtarash
Rima Eslammaslak
Ahmed Kamel
David Krippendorff
Elisabeth Masé
Andrea Salvino
Mina Talaee

Curated by:
Katharina Maria Raab
Asieh Salimian

Exhibition Hosted by: Mahe Mehr Gallery No. 7, Tehran, Iran

In today's world, we observe a new stage of evolutions in the capitalism system, which seeks to harness and harmonize the world through the media influence, the collapse and displacement of economic and political boundaries, as well as the takeover and imposition of production. With the dominance of supercompanies on the world, changes occur throughout the societies, which have a huge impact on culture, private and social structures, including the family, the young generation, relations between women and men, and so on. It also creates the patterns which define and harmonize our relationships. In this system, by the engineering of human and cultural relations, the technical necessities and the “reform” of native traditions and structures, different procedures of deprivation, regulation, and discipline are used to facilitate the “governance” of individuals and groups. Finally, it leads to the formation of new powers which are distinct from the traditional methods of governance. In this way, we encounter different forms of social inhibition as well as exercise of power and internal suppression by the people.

On the other hand, our world today's world, regardless of this influence, has found new frameworks and definitions of social structure. These new movements, which have arisen from human rights, women's rights, besides social and environmental responsibilities, have played a major role even in contemporary art. Thus, scenes of power struggle between the volition and the role of the people of society, against the propaganda and the mechanism of power and domination have emerged. Comprehension of the cultural currents which guide the society requires knowledge about the new behaviors of the people in modern and postmodern societies; Therefore, knowledge about the various aspects of the human spirit is a major step for understanding cultures and intercultural relationships. This spirit may appear in the gender field, it may also be used as a tool or media, and on the other hand, it can become an arena of politics around the world.

This exhibition, titled Power Struggle, with the subject of “Self, Power, Politics” is an attempt to demonstrate the viewpoints of contemporary artists about the necessity of changes in society, as well as their interpretation with the aim of clarifying and creating a better world. “Power Struggle” exhibition is an international event, bringing together the artists from Iran, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Morocco and Egypt, to explore their points of view on this issue. This exhibition is in line with the activities of “Factory TT” and “Katharina Maria Raab” gallery in Berlin. “Factory TT” aims to provide context of historical needs and development of art on the basis of communicating and conversation with the society for the independent community of artists. “Factory TT” intends to raise and review the issues such as critique, inquiry and analysis of the social, economic, and political topics of today’s Iran. “Factory TT” is a platform for thoughtful artists and audiences.

“Katharina Maria Raab” gallery also tries in the same way to give a wider look to Europe's neighbors, outside of the defined economic frameworks in Europe, in cooperation with the artists especially from the Middle East and North Africa.

Asieh Salimian, December 2018

Zuker e.V. in cooperation with:
Katharina Maria Raab Gallery, Berlin Factory TT Berlin / Tehran, Aria Residency

Board:

Ahmed Kamel - Director
Katharina Maria Raab - Associate Director
Andreas Schröder - Associate Director

Membership:

Zuker welcomes artists and those interested in art as members and supports!
If you want to join us (20 EUR annual membership fee), please contact us via: mail[at]zuker.info

Bank Information:

Zuker e.V.
IBAN: DE 80 8306 5408 0004 9735 42
BIC: GENODEF1SLR