Skip links

  1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to search

Cultural Exchange Rate

Tania El Khoury

Person wearing mask and gloves stands in archive-like room
Tania El Khoury, Cultural Exchange Rate. Photo by Ziad Abu-Rish

Lebanese live artist Tania El Khoury recites the universal, never-ending story of migration, through a family diary of the borders.

The cruellest of borders are invisible to the eye and present in everyday life. The death traps set within a moving body of water and the concealed militarisation of faraway border villages. Cultural Exchange Rate is an interactive live art project in which artist Tania El Khoury shares her family memoirs of life in a border village between Lebanon and Syria. One marked by war survival, valueless currency collection, brief migration to Mexico, and a river that disregards the colonial and national borders.

The audience is invited to immerse their heads into one family’s secret boxes to explore the sounds, images, and textures of traces of more than a century of border crossings.

Cultural Exchange Rate is based on the artist’s recorded interviews with her late grandmother, oral histories collected in her village in Akkar, the discovery of lost relatives in Mexico City, and the family’s attempt to secure dual citizenship. Tania El Khoury has been working on the project Cultural Exchange Rate for the last decade. The starting point of this venture was the soul-stirring effort of her father to financially support her when she fled for England. For this purpose, he has granted her his collection of Lebanese liras.


Date Location More info
Cultural Exchange Rate
16–28 July 2024
Various times
Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland, Ireland Details and tickets

For more information on this project, please contact Ania Obolewicz at

Production Design: Petra Abusleiman
Research: Ziad Abu-Rish, May Haider, Mariam Saada, Alexander Mayagoitia
Sound Design: Fadi Tabbal
Graphic Design: Jana Traboulsi
Live Video Editing & Motion Graphics: Ali Beidoun
Cinematography: Luke Bryant And Tania El Khoury
Spanish Translation: Ziad Chakaroun
Archives: El Khoury Family Papers (Lebanon And Mexico), Archivo General De La Nación (México), Sre – Acervo Histórico Diplomático (México)
Produced by: Bard Fisher Center (New York), Spielart Festival (Munich) and Onassis Stegi (Athens)

Date Title Venue City
10–14 April 2024 Cultural Exchange Rate Bass Concert Hall Rehearsal Room Fusebox Festival, Austin
11–16 March 2024 Cultural Exchange Rate Prior Performing Arts Center Worcester, Massachusetts
24–29 January 2023 Cultural Exchange Rate The Stamps Gallery University of Michigan
16–28 November 2021 Cultural Exchange Rate Micro Mondes Festival Lyon
6–9 November 2021 Cultural Exchange Rate Théâtre Jean Vilar Vitry-sur-Seine
31 August – 12 September 2021 Cultural Exchange Rate MAIF Social Club Paris
20–23 August 2021 Cultural Exchange Rate by Tania El Khoury Festival Mladi Levi Ljubljana
Person wearing mask and gloves stands in archive-like room
Tania El Khoury, Cultural Exchange Rate. Photo by Ziad Abu-Rish