Common Heritage and Common Challenges

Hot Encounters: Glass Blowing and Glass Art in the Middle East and Europe


Workshop & Lectures

Glassblowing is believed to have been originated in the region of Syria in the 1st century BC, and rapidly spread throughout the ancient world. The use of the blowpipe and closed molds were important technical advances that revolutionized the glass production in the Roman Empire. Therefore, manual glass production has become an intangible cultural heritage shared between Europe and the Arab world.

Contemporary glass artists follow the tracks of former craftsmen and have become global travelers between Western and Eastern glass art traditions. The Working Group has invited researchers and artists to bring attention to historical and contemporary approaches of glass art production. 

Member in Charge

Kirill Dmitriev

Arabic Studies
University of St Andrews School of Modern Languages

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Julia Hauser

University of Kassel Department of Social Sciences

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Bilal Orfali

Arabic & Islamic Studies
American University of Beirut Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages

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Ahmad Sakhrieh

American University of Ras Al Khaimah Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

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Lecture Program

Dr. Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk (Museum Kunstpalast/Glasmuseum Hentrich)
The Meaning of Glass - What Did People Think When They Thought About Glass in Mesopotamia, Egypt & Ancient Rome

Dr. Andrea Becker (Museum für Islamische Kunst)
Super - Cali - Fragilistic: The Raqqa Experience

Nadania Idris (Berlin Glas e.V.)
Safeguarding Glassmaking as an Important Intangible Heritage in the Middle East

Ali Kaaf (Syrian Artist)
Paper and Glass


Workshop: Glass Fusing & Glass Painting

The lecture program was followed by an hands-on workshop, in which AGYA members were trained in glass fusing and painting techniques. The German glass artist Torsten Rötzsch inspiried the participants with a glass blowing demonstration, in which he used authentically reconstructed molds from the renowned glass worker Ennion (1st century AD). 

The event was realized in cooperation with Berlin Glas e.V. and with the kind support of the Museum für Islamische Kunst - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

DATE and Venue of the project

28 - 30 January 2016
Pergamonmuseum Berlin

Pictures by AGYA/David Ausserhofer

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