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Rencontres Arts et Multimédia Internationales
International Encounters on Arts and Multimedia

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The RAMI project, initiated in September 2006 until December 2007, is a platform for experimentation and communication that will organize international meetings based on contemporary creation, digital tools and multimedia.

Similar to the Plastic Arts and with strong links to certain Schools of Fine Arts, the world of Digital Arts is well-identified in France. In comparison to this, in the Lebanon, the artists interested in the field move very easily from the medium of experimental video to that of fiction video, and, in Egypt, the artists tend to move from the graphic and the visual arts worlds towards diversified multimedia installations and performances.

The ground is fertile. We feel that there is everything to gain in supporting the developments in the Visual, Audiovisual and Performing Arts. It would be a challenge to bring these Arts together in the same space and time. Such an interesting venture would allow for a better platform to understand the artists’ motivations, the spirit of production and its effects on the audiences.

The RAMI project is the result of a cooperation that began in 2001 between the following major partners: SHAMS-Beirut, ZINC/ECM-Marseilles, l’ATELIER of Alexandria and ASTAR-Milan.

RAMI is divided up into seven phases:
1 - ARBOMED: Marseilles – Aix, October 06
2 - Beirut, 9 to 20 May 07
3 - Alexandria, 6 to 15 June 07
4 - Marseilles, 20, to 23 September 07
5 - Beirut, 2 to 14 October 07
6 - Alexandria Biennale - Alexandria, 2 to 8 Nov 07
7 - BJCEM: Alexandria – 25 Nov to 4 Dec, 07

RAMI is a project proposed and co-produced by
SHAMS – Beirut/ Contact Abdo Nawar:
ZINC/ECM – Marseilles / Contact Claudine Dussollier:
with l’ATELIER of Alexandria /Contact Moataz El Safty:`
and ASTAR – Milan / Contact Delphine Tonglet:

Rami is financed by
Anna Lindh Foundation
Dramastica Institute - Open Society Institute - Ford Foundation
French Cultural Centre in Beirut –– Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur – Ministère des affaires étrangères français.

Why a RAMI?

New information and communication technologies have become widespread in all aspects of daily life, both private and professional. Throughout the world, new potentials and easy access to vast stores of information is being offered to everyone by simply turning the codes and modalities of transmission, transforming our every-day perception of time and space. By de facto, the modalities of dialogue and the language we use to express ourselves become altered, breaking the codes for presenting reality as we once knew it. As a result, these new technologies have led to a fear that dialogue will be “virtualized” to the detriment of real contact with the Other. A reason for RAMI.

Artists have also made use of these new technologies to explore different ways of becoming part of the landscape of contemporary creation. Visual artists, as well as those from the fields of theatre, choreography and music, examine and use these new tools to offer the public new points of view and new fields of perception and reception. The complexities of today’s world are seen as digital technology and multimedia influence art forms to evolve into creations which are often still unclassifiable. A reason for RAMI.

In all countries, we are seeing artistic approaches and projects which are marked by these digital tools: installation, interactivity and multimedia performances criss-cross the biennials of contemporary arts and numerous festivals. This is true around the Mediterranean. In the Lebanon, for example, groups of artists take part in the experimental workshops; in France, in Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence in particular, cultural operators develop the production and diffusion of digital projects; in Egypt, new sites in Cairo and Alexandria play host to artists in the context of residences and workshops. In the framework of the “Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs en Europe et Méditerranée” (BJCEM – “Biennial of Young European and Mediterranean Creators”), multimedia projects and digital arts are constantly increasing.

Today, two objectives justify the creation of the RAMI project:
1- The need to bring artists, professionals and audiences closer together to better understand the contents and the technical and artistic approaches which exist in this domain. It is important to create a balance between the human aspect of arts in relation to the emergence of the digital and the multimedia art forms;
2 The importance of making these emerging art forms visible and to develop a key to common understanding in the Mediterranean basin, thereby facilitating the development of a critical forum for dialogue.

SHAMS in Beirut, ZINC/ECM in Marseilles, l’ATELIER of Alexandria, ASHTAR in Milan and their respective partners feel that the time has come to encourage a meeting based on these objectives to redefine the creative work that to many is still too abstract.

The RAMI project wants to undertake an initial inventory to demonstrate how these new technologies have a transversal effect on several artistic disciplines. It will give the artists, professionals and public a forum for confrontation and reflection. These International Meetings on Arts and Multimedia (RAMI) will be developed within the Beirut, Marseilles, Alexandria triangular network in order to underline this transversal dimension and to encourage openness and exchange.

RAMI from 9th to 20th of May 2007, in Beirut
The Sunflower Cultural Space

This phase will be an introductory one aiming to establish to test and establish the encounters that will follow. A workshop will be held in the Sunflower Cultural Space (Dawar Al SHAMS). Tarek Atoui, a Lebanese artist, and Guillaume Stagnaro, a French artist, will conduct a workshop on New technologies applied to art.
The workshop will be open to 10 artists (7 Lebanese and 3 Egyptian) and it will be followed by a public presentation of the results of the workshop on Sunday May 20th, at Café Samra.
On Saturday 12th May at 6:00 PM, we will host the first open encounters about arts and multimedia with several artists and multimedia professionals from Lebanon, Italy, France, Egypt…

Goal: To conceive and to realize an interactive device, using standard digital technologies and new computer tools.
In this workshop, musicians, video artists and artists from different fields are asked to propose projects or ideas of interactive installations, set ups and tools that will be developed during the workshop.

Targeted public: artist in Audiovisual, Performing arts and visual arts.

Class Masters: Tarek Atoui is a musician / programmer. He creates his own computer tools designed to give him a wider flexibility in music performing and improvisation. Artist on the German label Staalpaat, he works in Lebanon, France and the Netherlands with organizations such as the Steim studios in Amsterdam and Asa Djinnia in Paris that he co-founded with Uriel Barthelemi.
Guillaume Stagnaro works on interactive and simulative environments where language and movement are vectors of dialogue between man and machine. In parallel to his personal projects, he also works as a programmer of computer tools for artistic creation and performance.

RAMI from the 6th to the 15th of June 2007, in Alexandria
L’Atelier of Alexandria

This phase will include two workshops in the Atelier of Alexandria’s space:
1- Multimedia, body and movement, a workshop conducted by Marine Quiniou and Anne Le Batard (France) & Abdo Nawar (Lebanon)
2- Images, web and video, a workshop conducted by Renaud Vercey (France) and Jean-Pierre Noun (Lebanon).
The both workshops will be mainly opened to artists from Lebanon, France and Egypt. (20 artists: 12 Egyptian and 8 none Egyptian). The outcome of the two workshops will be presented to the public on the last day of the workshops.

In parallel, a professional meeting and several encounters with professional and partners from Cairo and Alexandria will be done.

The RAMI’s partners

For several years, ZINC/ECM has developed a network of actors who work with the new cultural practices linked to the new technologies in the artistic and educational fields. Through the ANIMANET program, encounters, artist’s residences, artistic workshops and training courses, the association has developed numerous partnerships throughout the Mediterranean basin. It continues to develop experimental grounds and exchanges and to explore the modalities of learning. ( ;

SHAMS, a group of theatre and audiovisual artists, runs the Dawar SHAMS (The Sunflower), a Cultural Space in the heart of Beirut, that encourages and promotes young creations by following up artists and organizes numerous festivals and encounters in performing arts, audiovisual and multimedia. SHAMS introduces training and critical discussion platforms to promote artistic development to the public. (

L’ATELIER of Alexandria, a historical cultural organization in Alexandria that has just celebrated its 75th birthday, is a forum for the creation of poetry and plastic arts that, under the impulse of its board and management team, is once again becoming the dynamic body it was in the past. A member of BJCEM since 2004 and an active participant in the Naples Biennial, l’ATELIER co-organized a dance and multimedia workshop in 2005 entitled “On Art” in collaboration with ESPACE CULTURE and ZINC/ECM from Marseilles. L’ATELIER of Alexandria now regularly organizes workshops and a creation forum for the youth. (

ASTAR (Associazione Studio Azzurro Ricerca) is a centre for artistic video experimentation and production; it was founded in 1982 by Fabio Cirifino (photography), Paolo Rosa (visual arts and cinema), Leonardo Sangiorgi (graphics and animation) and was joined in 1995 by Stefano Roveda, as expert in interactive systems.
The research performed by ASTAR is focused on creating “sensitive environments” where technology, narration and space are blended together, creating a mix between the man-machine and a relationship between man and man.
ASTAR areas of research are not limited to video, but also include cinema, theatre, musical theatre, and dance. With all, narrative and visual cuesa present to generate moments of straightforward and visionary contacts between different media. Furthermore, ASTAR has also made many documentaries on such artists, and has carried out work in the field of training and teaching through workshops and seminars (Essays and critical works). Around twenty persons collaborate with ASTAR ( is a website dedicated to theatre. Everything about theatre, a creation of