Saturday, October 27, 2007

Back to Germany - A résumé

We really enjoyed our work in the Yemen and are very thankful, that we got the possibility to do a Light-/Video-/Soundinstallation of this dimension at the Bab al-Yemen. It was great to become a part of the daily life, especially during the festive atmosphere of the Ramadan. Even if we had tough times dealing with electricity and non-existent cables, it always turned into moments of big luckiness, when things finally worked out in the last moment.

During our second stay in the Yemen, Rene and I had to change a lot regarding our first conception. We soon realized, that our origin idea to do an interactive installation had to be modified, since so many people were meeting each evening at the Bab al-Yemen, curious sitting all over the place and waiting for images/music. So everything became more kind of an event character, but for us there is nothing to regret about it [exempt from the fact, that our original plan - hanging around at a cool swimming pool in the afternoons, once the installation is running - was foiled, because we had to work all the time on our computers, editing new video material and sounds, since we still wanted each evening to be special :-) ]

There have been a lot of people, who helped us where they could, and without them this project would have been not possible at all. We would like to thank Frank Werner and Guido Zebisch from the German embassy, the Yemeni ministry of Culture (and especially Jamal Majam), Patrick from the French embassy and Joel, Julian and Mohamed from CCCL Sana'a as well as all the other great French people we met in Sana'a, our Yemeni staff members at the Bab al-Yemen, Fouad, Selim, Ahmed, Ismael, Maher and Abd Al Malik, Jean-Baptiste Lopez, the nicest photographer of the world, who provided us with images for the installation, the Yemeni painters Amna Alnuseiri, Talal Alnajar and Madhar Nizar, who also provided us with video-material, Michael Bepler from the Hrz Giessen, our Professor Heiner Goebbels and last but not least Bastian Roos and Carolin Möllmann, the two best interns the German embassy ever had.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


A conclusion drawn by the Yemen Observer after the last showing:

Friday, October 5, 2007

press releases

That is what the (english speaking) press wrote about the project shortly before and after the launch of the project:

Yemen Observer

Yemen Observer

Yemen Times

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Finissage / October 3rd.

Tomorrow, on October the 3rd., will be the official finissage of the project. There will be a representative part with a dinner, some speeches and live-music, before our installation finally will run for its last day. Check the webpage of the German Federal Foreign Office, which promotes the project in the framework of the "Day of German Unity abroad". We also already started to upload some new images to our Flickr-account.

German Federal Foreign Office
Our Flickr-Account

The press conference at CCCL Sana'a

Here you will find some exerpts from the speeches by the French cultural attache, the Yemeni deputy minister of culture and the German embassador. If you also want to listen to Rene, the French deputy embassador and me, go to our You-tube-channel, where you will find a second video with some parts of the official press conference, which was held two days before the installation was launched.

Our YouTube-Channel

Monday, October 1, 2007

The first video

Our friends from the French Cultural Center (CCCL Sana'a) produced a short trailer of the installation during September 23th. It is synchronized in French, but gives also some first impressions to non-French speakers.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The first days

The last few days we have been very busy. Our ordered power-extension cables emerged last tuesday evening as about 1500 metres of cables on rolls, without any plugs, so we had first to "produce" and connect all of them. The next night we installed all the lights at the Bab al-Yemen, with the help of some very nice Yemeni, French and German people. But there was still no electricity, until finally at Thursday night a big generator (300000W!!!) was brought and parked in front of the Bab al-Yemen. Unfortunately this was to late to beginn with the show on the same day, so we could start only on September 21. After two shows with some technical problems (f.e. on Saturday evening the generator was overheated, because it run for 5 hours in advance to do some tests, and shut down half an hour after the installation had started), everything run yesterday quite smoothly. We still have to fix some minor technical problems, but now it is becoming fun again. The people at the Bab al-Yemen really seem to like the installation, each evening the place is filled up with people. Sometimes it is really hard for us to concentrate during the daily setup of the cube and the two main projectors, because we are surrounded by so many people, that are curiously watching each step we take, but it is also a great experience doing some patching in between all the people. I think, back in Germany there should be nothing what can discomfit us so easily. We are very very happy to be here in Sanaa, and about all the support we get locally! It is really great to do a installation of this dimension in the Yemen.

The construction of the cube was finished on the evening of September 20th....the place where all the wires get connected to the generator, and three of our Yemeni friends, that support us. In a fairy tale somebody would now say, "Anyhow, it works!". Unfortunately this is no fairy tale, but still the electrical situation is now much better than it looks like.

...and finally some of the first images of the show.
In the next days, when we have some more time, we will upload some videofiles to our You-tube channel, and also set up a photo-album in the internet.