As part of the fellowship program for contemporary artists, theorists and curators, the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) welcomes Kinda Hassan and Mohammad Shawky Hassan to Cologne. The Lebanese multimedia artist and the Egyptian filmmaker began working together on the sound concept of the film Shall I Compare You in a Summer's Day? in December 2018:

'Shall I Compare You to a Summer's Day?' is an attempt to think through the available narration tropes within Arab cultural production that uphold a significant value to the region’s queer history while in themselves continuously reproducing a heteronormative rendering of love. The film is sincerely seeking to achieve a high level of cultural intimacy, by creating a world in which queer Arabs could recognize themselves through common frameworks of memory: stories they are familiar with, words they use, songs they love and jokes understood from half a word.
(K. Hassan & M. S. Hassan)

Taking Arab folktales as its formal reference, and Egyptian pop music as its primary sonic material, Shall I compare You to a Summer’s Day? is a queer contemporary take on One Thousand and One Nights. The project consists of a research-based essay film and a publication that attempt to expand the possibilities of pop cultural genera, such as music videos, musical theatre and TV series, in order to explore the ways in which a queer lover’s discourse could emerge from traditional modes of storytelling and various registers of language deeply rooted in Arab popular culture.

Kinda Hassan and Mohammad Shawky Hassan work in collaborative processes of writing, filming, editing and sound design. Despite their different locations in Paris and Berlin, the ADKDW residency enables them to complete the project together and to network with other artists and institutions based in Cologne.