Yara Mekawei from Cairo has been selected as fellow for the DAAD´s Artists-in-Berlin Residency 2021 in the category music. It is one of the world’s most respected artist-in-residence programmes for established artists working in the fine arts, film, literature and music.

First, we would like to congratulate Yara Mekawei most warmly to this big achievement! Alf mabrook!

We talked with Yara about her music, her plans, her relation to Egypt and the application process. Read about her experiences below!

DAAD Egypt: Can you introduce yourself quickly? What should we know about you and your music?

Yara Mekawei: I am a Cairo-based electronic music composer and sound artist. As prolific artist and scholar, my sonic bricolages draw inspiration from the flow of urban centres and the infrastructure of cities. I am interested in the philosophy of architecture, history, and literature, using the optical transfer from the musical conversation and transferring the sound waves to visual forms. My work is based on sound as a tool of vision, the philosophy of composition is shaped by sophisticated practices that convey messages of conceptual dimension to the public. I am using research literature specializing in the social ideologies in my concepts and following the projects through a research point of uniting my work, whose work shows an intangible aspect of my personality and being feminine in an East African society.

DAAD Egypt: The essential part of the scholarship is the residency for twelve months in Berlin in Germany. What do you expect from your stay in Berlin?

Yara Mekawei: I am looking to start a new strong step in my career, with getting involved in the new society and powerful scene.

DAAD Egypt: In addition to the residency in Berlin, you will receive a monthly scholarship rate for one year. What are you plans for this time?

Yara Mekawei: Actually, I do not have a specific plan for now, but I will do my best to take advantage of everything to develop my professionalism and learn new things that add other dimensions to my independence future.

DAAD Egypt: How do you see the current developments in the artistic field in Egypt? What is different in Egypt and where do you see the most potential?

Yara Mekawei: Egypt is the country of inspiration, identity and aesthetics of difference, this is what I see in writing my projects there, and this is what I always search for in my research, the Egyptian-African identity that makes me relate to the North and what I can add with special theories from my cultural background.

DAAD Egypt: How did you experience the application process for the scholarship? Do you have any recommendations for interested applicants?

Yara Mekawei: I found the application process is easy and clear. I believe that everyone can apply a specific vision of his time-line work which can establish his works and artistic concepts.

We wish Yara all the best for her time in Berlin and for her upcoming months as fellow of the Artists-in-Berlin Residency Programme and hope that she will be able to travel soon!

Interview: Ann-Kathrin Schwarz

Download: Press Release: Fellows of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2021 (docx, 67.31 KB)

More about the scholarship programme

The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program – DAAD

The application for 2022 is closed already, the next call will open towards the end of the year for 2023.

Read about the fellows of the Artists-in-Berlin Residency 2020 in the annual brochure 2020!