What you need to work together – Interview with Kibrit and NACMM

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As part of this series of discussions into the different models of organizing art, we spoke to Pau Cata and Francesca Masoero of CeRCCa and Le18 about networks they have already formed, Kibrit and North Africa Cultural Mobility Map (NACMM). We spoke in a hotel room in the middle of the install week for Transformer’s artists, so there is a bit of background noise. This was a slightly longer conversation than others and so presented here is an edited version.

Kibrit — which means match in Arabic — is a collaborative platform for exploring cultural heritage through contemporary artistic and curatorial practices. It was initiated and is curated by LE 18 (Marrakech), Atelier de l’Observatoire (Casablanca), Maison de l’Image (Tunis), CeRCCa (Barcelona), Rhizome (Algiers), Jiser(Barcelona/Tunis) and Ramallah Municipality (Ramallah).

As we discussed, its particular format differed from other projects by members of the group such as the North Africa Cultural Mobility Map (NACMM, coordinated by Pau / CeRCCa), which was more a research tool and offered its participants a degree of mobility and network building; instead Kibrit focused on facilitating partner organisations in developing projects that focus on the local context. That said, it is important when considering the legacy of the Transformer project to see how Kibrit emerged with tools and networks built by NACMM.

Developed in discussion with funders including SouthMed CV, Kibrit, NACMM (as well as another of the group’s projects, Platform Harakat), all diagram the differing issues and necessary interfaces when working across the Arab, North African, and southern Mediterranean region — not least when it comes to participant mobility and funding.

In this wide ranging and valuable conversation, we discussed specific projects, the transition from creating networks and tools, to implementing ways to sharing resources among through the umbrella of Kibrit.

Balancing between this was a sense of the time and emotional investment needed for building networks, especially when large scale funding or institutional support is not guaranteed or yet in place.

And while funding is an ever-present problem — equally persistent is the difficulty of terminology and definition, as projects like Kibrit constantly respond to and attempt to move with the realities and needs of its collaborators, participants and communities.