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Profiled: Me

Recently, the CIN, via Raphael Thelen, did a profile of me. Find the text as published on the site below and the original a bit further down. Plus, dear reader, you finally get to know what I look like after all these years… 



“Hybridisation…Transnational…Precarious…Synchronous Narratives…Digital and Analogue Worlds… Design…Interventions”. Caram Kapp is spreading those thoughts before himself as he starts to speak.

Everything started with his family – an international bunch with roots in Egypt, France, Germany and Russia. “My family introduced me to society from various perspectives. This opened up horizons that only become visible when you change your point of view several times. They taught me that it is not a common nationality, but common principles, ideas and goals that bring people together to form a society.”

“Hybridisation” is a word that features heavily in Caram’s vocabulary. It describes the various causes and ideas that bring people to join their efforts across borders. “Borders are imposed by history and the interests of the nation state. Do they still make sense in a time during which physical geography is rapidly losing its significance as a factor of distance?” He gives the example of Berlin, his base for the last 15 years. It’s a hybrid city with many nationalities that have the same ideas and work together in order to realize them. “We need to overcome our idea that the Other is different from us. There is no such thing as black and white, when it comes to people. We exist in polychromatic shades of grey”.

This hybridisation does not only affect nationalities, but also disciplines- an ongoing merging of the academic and artistic into a multidisciplinary culture. Caram has been working between countries in the cultural field for the past ten years. “I believe that culture is a lubricant to direct communication. It allows personal reflections on an abstract level to be translated into a common conversation. And it will turn more concrete as the conversation continues. It is a context that allows the recipients to connect beyond their original perspectives and to begin thinking together.

Being German-Egyptian, Caram is deeply influenced by the events of the past three years in Egypt. “What is happening there is not yet a revolution. In a cultural sense, yes, something is happening. Maybe it’s even the starting point for a new society. But the game that is currently being played is an old one,” he says referring to the political developments.

Does he believe in positive change? “Yes, but it has to come, like all real changes, from inside and below, not from the outside and above. Maybe a bit from the side… That might take centuries. Thinking globally, it already has. A few more decades won’t matter.

What motivates him? “To change the world without the pomp that usually goes with it. I would like to make alternatives and new approaches visible and liveable through exchanges. To make them realities that people share and enrich each other in. Step by Step.”

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Caram is mumbling a string of words when we begin “Hybridisation…Transnational…Precarious…Synchronous Narratives…Digital and Analogue Worlds… Design…Interventions”. He is spreading thoughts before himself, to collect them during our conversation. 

We begin with his family- a hetronational bunch of people, meetings between Egyptian, French, German and Russian ancestors, sometime in the 20th century. “My family was an introduction to society from various perspectives. It opened up horizons that only become visible when you change your point of view several times and allow others to enter it. They taught me that it is not a common nationality, but common principles, ideas and goals that bring people together. This bonding allows shared thoughts and being, parts of a hybrid society that is unfolding around us.” 

Hybridisation is a large word, which describes the various causes and ideas that cause people to join their efforts beyond borders to the point of questioning their importance- or even existence. “ Do historical borders still make sense in a time during which physical geography is rapidly losing its significance as a factor of distance?” He gives the example of Berlin, his base for the last 15 years. A hybrid city of common interests, goals and many nationalities participating in realising them. “We need to overcome our idea that the Other is different from us. Get to know them, and you will quickly realise that you have a lot in common with the “dark mirror”. There is no such thing as black and white, when it comes to people, we exist in between colours, never in a single non-colour.”. 

The process does not only transcend nationalities, but also disciplines- an ongoing merging of the academic and artistic into a multidisciplinary culture of exploration. Caram has been working between countries in the cultural field for the past ten years. “I believe that culture is a lubricant to direct and honest communication. It allows personal reflections on an abstract level that are translated into a common conversation that begins on that level, but will turn more concrete as it continues. It is a starting point that allows the recipients to connect beyond their inherent perspectives and begin a joint journey of ideas from a shared origin of departure.”

Face to face and eye to eye, ear to mouth. The student of communication design has learnt that every communication seeks its own, specific, medium to unfold in. He creates platforms, both digital and physical “I prefer physical to analogue… we are not watches”, in which people can meet and interact. “These days, it is inevitable to spend many hours on a computer, writing about ideas on Social Media or in Emails. It is close to human contact, but you are still on your own, reduced to a textual, semantic representation of yourself. I have come to understand, that, so far, nothing can replace talking in person- you laugh more. One day we may have Star Trek holograms, but even those guys still conduct their most important meetings face to face, no matter how big the universe is” He chuckles “Yes, I love Sci-Fi- it is an exploration of human values, ambitions and the possible through magical technologies, aliens and the impossible.”

Moving away from Sci-Fi, towards a current reality, the German-Egyptian (“But I’m not!” “Keep it simple”) is deeply influenced by the events over the past three years in Egypt, the country he grew up in. “What happened there… what is still happening there… is not yet a revolution. It is the beginning of a cultural uprising and possibly the starting point for a new society, but the game that is currently being played is an old one. If you look at the narrative that is presented to us, it is that of progress towards the future by a state that has left old regimes and systems behind. This is a finely executed act of misdirection that somehow manages to convince many in Egypt and outside that the 2014 successor to Mubaraks regime is not a part of what has kept the country stagnant for the past three decades. In time, and thanks to individual efforts, not the states’, we may see a new and different country emerge from the current processes. How much time depends on how many individuals- let’s call them citizens- are hard-headed enough to see their idea through. You will find similar narratives surrounding other events, as well.” Does he believe in change? “Yes, but not the kind of imposed change that we have seen in the past years. It has to come, like all real change, from inside and below, not the outside and above- maybe slightly to the right.” “That might take centuries…” “Thinking globally, it already has. A few more decades won’t matter, but I believe we are getting there, step by step. Both on a technological and societal level.”  

What motivates him? “I would like to change the world without the pomp that usually surrounds this change. To make energies, alternatives and new approaches visible and liveable through exchanges, to make them realities that people share and enrich each other in.” 


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