ETMAC: Extra-territorial Ministry of Arab Culture

Conceptualizing the future of arts and culture institutions in times of crisis and displacement


The Context

At a time when Arab countries are bleeding away their creative capital with the departure, emigration, or exiling of pioneering intellectuals and artists, one wonders on the future of their practices and legacies. We pose a question: can the institution of the "ministry of culture" be rehabilitated to serve this new diffuse community of art producers and serve a locus of cultural production outside of the traditional boundaries of the nation? Can the institution evolve to meet the needs of an artistic and cultural community that is, at least temporarily, extra-territorial? And can it help to rebuild shattered national ministries on artists’ terms?


The Response

ETMAC is not utopian in the traditional sense, but rather explores the potential for the reform of institutions that have lost their legitimacy.
— Adam Kucharski

Built as an imaginary ministry that supports contemporary artistic creation of displaced and refugee Arab artists, ETMAC is Adam Kucharski’s brainchild in collaboration with HaRaKa’s performance theorist and artist Adham Hafez. It operates as a fictitious entity that runs programs, gives consultancy to institutions on issues of cultural policy and financial planning, and presents lecture-performances. Set between the worlds of institutional making, performance theory, and strategic financial planning, ETMAC is a unique interdisciplinary project.

Commissioned by Lokomotiva and Kino Kultura (Macedonia). Performed in partnership with HaRaKa (Egypt).

Click above to watch excerpts of a live performance of ETMAC.