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SAWA Museum Academy© Martina Kopp

SAWA Museum Academy

15. – 25. September 2019 in Sharjah, VAE
08. - 16. Juni 2020 in Berlin, Deutschland


What is SAWA? 
SAWA is the first ever explicitly transcultural capacity building program for current and future museum personnel in the Arab countries and Germany. SAWA is dedicated to the exchange of ideas on Appropriate Museum Studies across continents and cultures to encourage learning from and with each other 

Cooperation partners:
Sharjah Museums Authority, Staatliche Museen Berlin / Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, University of Applied Sciences Berlin (HTW), Goethe-Institut Gulf Region

Volkswagen Stiftung, with the kind support of Sharjah Museums Authority, Goethe-Institut

© Sharjah Museums Authority

The SAWA Term

The SAWA term starts with a 2-week course in autumn in Sharjah/UAE followed by a 10-day course the following spring/summer in Berlin. Participants need to take part in both courses within one academic year. The intensive course is limited to 16 participants (8 from the MENA Region and 8 from Berlin)

The SAWA Modules

The SAWA Modules address museological subjects such as 
- What is a museum? 
Local versus International perspectives 
- Collecting and Documenting: 
Participative strategies for past and present 
- Curatorial strategies: 
From single to shared authorship 
- Museum Communication: 
Access, Engagement and Interpretation 

  • SAWA_Aqua Sharjah-Gruppe ©Ahmed Alyassi
  • SAWA_Bait Naboodah ©Ahmed Alyassi
  • SAWA_Flyer_2 ©Ahmed Alyassi
  • SAWA_Flyer_In ©Ahmed Alyassi
  • SAWA_FlyerCover ©Isabel Alvarez
  • SAWA_FlyerInnen ©Isabel Alvarez

The SAWA Method

The SAWA method combines learning from experts with hands on exercises, which means that theoretical input is always reassessed in practice-orientated group work. It allows the participantsto gain insights not only into the practice of the Sharjah Museums and the State Museums of Berlin, but also to exchange best practice from each participant’s institutions. 

The SAWA Staff

The SAWA staff consists of specialists from respective fields of museology and museum practice in Europe and the MENA Region.Each module’s content is jointly developed and taught by a European-MENA-based pairing. 

Who can apply?

Applicants should either be in the early stages of a museum-related career or currently be enrolled as a graduate student at a University with a focus on museum-orientated studies. Excellent English language skills are a prerequisite. 
Participants can also apply for a grant.

More Information:
Fareed Majari
Goethe-Institut Gulf Region

Application Documents


»SAWA helped me to break down barriers in my head that I didn’t even know were there. I felt that my ideas were welcome and respected. Other participants took them up and even developed them.«
A participant 2018 
»Of all the international training courses I’ve attended, what makes SAWA unique is how its format facilitates open dialogue.« 
A participant 2018
»Leaving SAWA, I feel I‘ve learned so much about the museum culture of Sharjah, Berlin and the wider Middle East. But also about myself and the type of museum practitioner and person I want to be.«
A participant 2018