Voyage-partage, already 1 year

365 days of travel… It passed so quickly. According to my plans I should be in Senegal at the moment… I should be putting on my third exhibition and organizing my sailing across the Atlantic. Hum… So as you’ve seen, the plans have changed a bit… If the course remains the same, the pace of travel has slowed down, tends to tend towards infinity…  Will understand only the maths lovers… I stayed in Egypt for almost 8 months to create the exhibition about nanos. I have absolutely no regrets. This was the time needed for this project to be complete . And now that Voyage-partage is launched for good, I can continue on my journey…

For this first year, I wanted to give you a little feedback. To do so, I copied in large part the activity report of the asso. If you want to support the project, don’t hesitate to take a tour here and on the paypal page to join the asso or renew your membership! Thank you.

In the last twelve months, the Partage-voyage project has been able to take off and while any project is still perfectable, it appears that the first scientific exhibition in Africa has exceeded our expectations in terms of scenographic quality. The panels and other supports were indeed worthy of a professional exhibition. In addition, all the objectives of the exhibition were fulfilled, from the organization of a conference at the inauguration to the creation, more anecdotal, of goodies to offer to the participants.

Repeated setbacks

While it was planned to travel the entire African continent and make no less than three exhibitions, Voyage-partage stopped 8 months in Egypt and made only one exhibition. The reason is that the time to carry out the exhibition in Egypt has continuously grown. While the project’s actors, researchers and cultural organizations, have all shown themselves more than willing to participate in the exhibition, the setbacks have accumulated. 

Initially scheduled for December 2018, the exhibition did not receive official approval from the French institute until February and a date was set for the exhibition in April 2019. In the meantime, as the links with the researchers had become a little slit, it was necessary to re-create a bond of trust which was not easy. At the same time, the amount of work to set up the exhibition was much larger than expected. On one hand beacause it has grown to a very large extent when it was originally a question of creating only a dozen panels on pvc roller. But also because the time required for all stages of creation (interview, writing, rereading, graphics, translation, set design, conference… ) has been underestimated. 

To create this exhibition from A to Z, the only solution was to increase the time spent on site with each setback, as much as necessary. And so this time reached 8 months instead of 2-3 months. 

It’s hard after that to follow up on a second exhibition, either in terms of time or money for that matter. The route and frequency of the exhibitions are therefore being considered in order to get on the trail of a more realistic model.

Meet and cooperate

The first mission of travel-sharing was to get in touch with researchers who provided the material needed to write the content of the exhibition. Nanophotonics (cpsm) researchers at The University of Zewail City have agreed to pass on their knowledge and explain their lives as researchers in Egypt. The team leader also participated in the opening conference of the exhibition. 

For its part, the French Institute in Cairo with whom I was also in contact, proposed on its own initiative to host the exhibition. That’s why the project has become so ambitious. Voyage-partage has therefore collaborated with the Institute to create an exhibition commensurate with the organization. This means a scenography and a content adapted to the place and in particular adressing the role of France in scientific research in Egypt. This required adaptations of the editorial line of the exhibition. And allowed a final exhibition of such high quality.

The french institute team and nano scientists

Voyage-partage has also met with many other Egyptian organizations in order to collect the data needed for the exhibition (statistical data on research in Egypt, patents in nanotechnology…) In particular, the Science Observatory of the Egyptian Academy of Sciences, the nanotech company for all the industrial side…

Create and organize

With the help of a graphic designer and a set designer, the exhibition on nanotechnology in Egypt has gradually emerged. I wrote the contents while the Arabic translation was entrusted to an Egyptian translator. And the English version checked by an English corrector. The photos were provided by an agency. And the printing of wall panels and stickers provided by 2 different companies. The installation also required the intervention of professionals. In the end, the exhibition remained from April 21 to July 31 on the walls of the French institute. 

A debate about the importance for Egypt to develop its own science was then organized for the inauguration, with scientific experts as well as an Egyptian science journalist taking part and spectators enjoying a buffet and the exhibition.

Communicating more and better

On the association side, the priority was placed on the creation of the exhibition itself and during this period, little information was communicated about the project. Two interviews has been realized about  the exhibition and a few articles on online sites. But a real strategy must be put in place for the next exhibitions, in order to be able to benefit from coverage by the local and French press. And despite the communication of the event by the French institute, eventually few people were present at the inauguration.

In parallel to the exhibition, the channel of the association Fais ta science!  released videos on youtube about nanotechnology and the exhibition trailer. However, there is still a lot of video content to assemble.  They will complement the contents of the exhibition that are to be presented on the website.

Future projects

The nanotechnology exhibition was a success. In particular, it has enabled the Voyage-partage project to acquire a good foundation for the future. But there are still a few things that need to be done before we can consider this exhibition as finalized.

  • First, some videos still have to be edited and uploaded to the association’s youtube channel. 
  • The content of the exhibition must be transferred as a webdoc to the website, which requires the help of a webdesigner 
  • It will then be necessary to communicate about these contents, them to  have the opportunity to be viewed …

Then on a more general level:

  • The project route and the frequency of exhibitions must be adapted. New, lighter formats are expected to emerge. 
  • A communication strategy must be thought out before any new exhibition
  • An economic model, based on sponsors and an increase in membership, must be put in place.

For now, Voyage-partage remains in Africa. And the next scientific information should still come to you from this continent!

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