10 − 29 January 2013 | Fekra Cultural Center | Aswan, Egypt

The inaugural Nile Gathering was the foundational microcosm for the Nile Project, with an intention for it to become an annual tradition that brings together the Project’s community of musicians, staff, advisors, partners and stakeholders to assess the impact of our combined efforts and fine-tune our platform’s direction.

The first four days witnessed a strategic workshop that engaged participants and inspired them to play an active role in expanding the Nile Project network across East Africa and beyond. We invited entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders working in fields of relevance to the Nile Project to attend the workshop. Together, we:

Engaged in a series of conversations to learn about each other’s diverse cultural perspectives and benefit from our respective fields of expertise. We also took this opportunity to engage with Aswan’s community and experience the local river ecosystem.

Integrated our respective disciplinary and cultural perspectives to collectively map out the complexity of the Nile basin. Building on this systemic understanding of the Nile, we identified our specific challenges and opportunities for increased collaboration and new interventions.

Cultivated an open space for experimentation and innovation to allow new cross-basin relationships and partnerships to emerge. We also explored new avenues to support existing initiatives.

Built on this common-base understanding of the river to crystallize the Nile Project’s strategic role within the basin’s organizational landscape. Based on this new strategic clarity, we will work together to refine proposed Nile Project programs and develop new ones.

These conversations and activities are serving as a prototype for future cross-cultural dialogues integral to the Nile Project’s programs and activities. In the two weeks following the workshop, musicians invited from up and down the Nile gathered to collaborate and translate this dialogue into a new body of songs drawing on their diverse traditions and instruments. To find out more about the music residency and Nile Project musicians, visit our music pages here, and for more information about the workshop, browse through the call for participants here.

The Nile Gathering was made possible with the kind support of:


Image: workshop participants at the first Nile Gathering, in Aswan’s Fekra Cultural Center, Egypt © Jamie Freedman