The Goethe-Institut Libanon celebrated the opening of its new premises

The Goethe-Institut Libanon celebrated the opening of its new premises in Gemmayzeh, where a wide range of activities will take place in the upcoming months. Over 800 people enjoyed the vibrant mix of music concerts and artistic performances at the “Große Party” (big party).

The Goethe-Institute Libanon is part of a worldwide network of Goethe-Institutes, which are the German cultural institutes. “The newly renovated premises in Gemmayzeh are now open to everyone who is interested in cultural encounters, learning German or discovering the current trends in German and European art, film, dance, music and philosophy, all under one roof” said Mani Pournaghi, director of the Goethe-Institut Libanon in his opening speech.

The public “Große Party”, which the Goethe-Institut organised to celebrate the reopening of its premises, was preceded by a formal reception in the presence of German Ambassador Martin Huth who highlighted the important role of culture in the bilateral relations between Lebanon and Germany, and Lynn Tehini, representing the minister of Culture Dr. Ghattas Khoury, who said that by investing in cultural education and the cultural field, we are contributing not only to enriching heritage but to preserving peace for generations to come, and the ministry is committed to events like the one being held today, and Regional Director Dr. Elke Kaschl-Mohni represented the board of the worldwide network of Goethe-Institutes.

For this occasion, minister of Culture Dr. Ghattas Khoury visited the new premises with the Director of Goethe-Institut Mani Pournaghi who introduced him to the institute's activities and programs.

Concert, Photo Exhibition & Virtual Reality

During the reception around 250 invited guests, friends and partners enjoyed a concert by Ary Jan Sarhan and Gurumiran in the early evening. The two musicians presented three new compositions which they composed for this reopening event. The soft sounds of the Bozouk mingled with modern beats and electronic vibes.

On the walls of the new Media Lounge the guests found visual stimulations as they were the first to see the photos of German artists Johann Clausen and Alexander Graeser. In their photos the photographers explore the limits or limitlessness of desire. Is it possible to desire a building as much as a human body?

Those who wanted to explore their limits of perception even further could enter a small room and experience the virtual reality designed by Nour Malaeb. The photo exhibition as well as the virtual reality-experience can be explored in the upcoming weeks during the service hours of the Media Lounge.

Große Party

Following the reception, over 800 people attended the party at the schoolyard of the Sacré-Coeur school facing the Goethe-Institut and danced to different musical styles. Ary Jan Sarhan presented the Bouzouk in a variety of colours and shapes, complemented by Sara Darwish’s intriguing voice. Electronic beats met distinct Arabesque and Armenian sounds in the songs of Gurumiran, before Charlie Rayne explored the aesthetics of folk music combined with electronic sounds. On an already crowded dance floor the rhythm became faster while Wass from the group “Who Killed Bruce Lee” made his appearance on stage. The performances were framed by the DJ Set of Rita as the opening act and Jad Taleb as the closing set. The crowd danced until late in the night to Jad Taleb’s electronic sounds with techno beats and Arabic melodies.

Beirut and Berlin were linked via a networked live performance of Digital Calligraffiti, curated by Don Karl. Artists from Berlin and Beirut met digitally on a screen and exchanged their messages such as “Let’s build the future together” and “The future is now”. Digital calligraffiti turned thus the screen at the Große Party in Beirut and the façade of the CHB (Collegium Hungaricum Berlin) into digital canvases on which the artists could write and draw simultaneously.

The party was organised by the Goethe-Institut Libanon in collaboration with C U NXT SAT, who managed to create a unique Berlin atmosphere in the schoolyard with colourful DIY sitting areas and hammocks.