SHISH VZW is a Belgian-Egyptian non-profit organization founded by Ruud Gielens & Laila Soliman whose specific activities include creating theatre, dance and music productions in collaboration with partners in the Middle East and more specifically Egypt.
Its objective is to have an intercultural dialogue between artists from the Middle East and Europe. Activities include organizing workshops with the aim of a cultural, educational and social exchange, and the establishment of an outreach program in Cairo for cultural, educational and recreational activities and the development of intercultural awareness and dialogue to a wide audience in Cairo, the Middle East and Europe.
Egyptian theatre maker Laila Soliman and Belgian theatre maker Ruud Gielens have been on and off artistically collaborating since 2011.
They work together in different artistic constellations. They previously co-directed the critically acclaimed production Lessons in Revolting (2011), and ‘La Grande Maison’ (2015), ‘Museum of the State Security System’ (2015). Gielens also produced Soliman’s more recent directorial works the performances series No Time for art (2011-2014) and Hawa El Horreya (2014), Zigzig (2016) and created the lights and video for them. Soliman was the dramaturge of ‘In the Eyes of Heaven’ (2016) and ‘The Meursault Investigation’ (2017).
Laila Soliman et Ruud Gielens
Laila Soliman (born 1981) is an independent Egyptian theatre director, dramaturge and playwright, living and working in Cairo. She studied theatre at the American University in Cairo and obtained her MA in theater at Dasarts (AHK) in Amsterdam.
Her works since 2004 have been mainly shown in Egypt, Tunis, Lebanon, Syria and in Europe.
Ruud Gielens (born 1977) is a versatile artist who is active in various fields of the performing arts. He designed stage sets and lighting, realized video designs and directed and played at several Belgian and international Theatres. He studied theatre directing at the theatre school Rits in Brussels/Belgium. After graduation he also teaches there to mainly young and aspiring theatre directors.