Engy Mohsen’s work was born in a moment of realization that the outbreak of the pandemic has pushed people everywhere to devise alternative ways and coping mechanisms to deal with isolation, as they navigate virtual spaces every day. Rooms, meetings, hangouts, groups, stories, emails, voice notes. There was a moment in time when we would link up with others online just to pass time. Then, it became a necessity, to make up for the longing for forms of human connection. 


Engy’s initial proposal departed from conventional forms of speed dating and attempted to turn that into a virtual participatory performance. She wanted to invite participants to sign up by email to take part in an online conversation with an anonymous partner. After that, they were supposed to be randomly paired through video chat with another participant for a very brief encounter. The goal was to allow both of them to share a conversation, to vent, and reflect together on the situation they find themselves in while also protecting their privacy. The desired effect of this space was meant to be almost therapeutic for each of the participants, to briefly connect with another person, and let out what they think, and how they feel in this state of being collectively confined, and how to face this fear of the uncertainty created by something beyond all our control. 


Engy’s early works explored ways of how conversations that happen through casual encounters can create a physical space or an image of one. Then, she started to explore the capacity of space to let conversations unravel. Her body of work, therefore, continues to foster an interest in the tension between spaces and conversations, and how one can lead to the creation and shaping of the other.


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Engy Mohsen, Room 0: The Pilot Room, 2019

From Chatrooms: On Curating Spaces by Engy Mohsen and Sarah Maher.

Courtesy of the artist




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The Things You Do For Love Game Sketch by Mohamed Al Bakeri 


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Rehearsing Horizontalities Sketch by Eliana Otta


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Breaking Hearts, or Mending Them Game Sketch by Nada El Kalaawy





Engy’s project changed thoroughly during the course of the Homebound Residency and afterwards. She explored the feeling and state of love from an expanded perspective, which resulted in playful exercises through which we can communicate love, and exchange thoughts and experiences.


As a result, How to Love Many in Many Ways is an open-edition collection of games, exercises, and playful texts that depart from expanded notions of “love.” Love is so big a concept that it can be grasped and interpreted in innumerable ways; it frames our relationships and the way we connect with ourselves and everyone and everything in our surroundings. Stemming from a ground belief that this can only be addressed collectively, the culminating exercises or games respond to the titular question: How to Love Many in Many Ways?


Engy collaborated with Gabriel Hensche and together they invited a number of contributors that included artists, writers, game designers, among others. 


The three rules that formed the parameters of contributions is: 

1. It has to address an expanded notion of ‘Love’. 

2. It has to be either a game or an exercise. 

3. In the case of choosing a game, it has to be based on an existing game structure. 


The games can be played by a diverse number of players who share different types of relationships; friends, family, couples, work colleagues, and so on. Therefore, these games are flexible enough to be played in many different situations. The project includes a collection of games and exercises in a printed edition, yet it is also available online to print and play at home (open-source). The games will be accompanied by instructions, a production manual, and so on. 



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Engy Mohsen, How To Love In Many Ways (workshop poster), 2021

A collection of games and exercises

Courtesy of the artist




The diverse disciplines and backgrounds that informed each game or exercise range from the artistic to the scientific, and from the somatic to the satirical.

Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche, artists (Cairo/Berlin), kicked off with the namesake How to Love Many in Many Ways, a set of exercises that invite you to enact many rituals with many options for potential players: Yourself, Other/s, Other Other/s.

Eliana Otta, artist (Lima/Athens), responded with Rehearsing Horizontalities, a set of exercises that create scenarios in which players re-examine their relationship with others by playing with their spatial, choreographic, and acoustic awareness, all while maintaining what she calls a “horizontality pact” to re-examine our relationships with others.

Eleonora Toniolo, interdisciplinary designer (Berlin), responded with NOI Game, a card game that attempts to challenge usual modes of communication by playing with individual and collective silence.

Ingo Niermann (The Army of Love), writer and artist (Basel/Berlin), responded with Falling in Love with the World, an exercise that directs a group to overcome aversions and extend notions of love and care to others or objects.

Mohamed Al Bakeri, artist (Cairo/Sierre), responded with The Things We Do for Love, a board game that invites players to think of love as a material need and a commodity, drawing from the world of online dating.

Petra Mrša, artist and photographer (Berlin/Zagreb), responded with Shivering Throats, Breaking the Walls, playing with alternative notions of intimacy and encounter, presence and absence, and unconventional modes of communication and exchange.

Philip Ullrich, artist (Bern/Zürich), responded with Take That Loving Grace, a game in which aspects of love such as the similarities and differences between parties as well as the power struggles that are at play can be explored in pointed ways.

Rania Atef, artist (Cairo), responded with Bad Mother, a card game that critically and sarcastically scrutinizes the societal gaze on maternal love, mothers’ domestic performance, and the criteria for a “good mother.”

Raúl Hott, artist and architect (Santiago), created Total Body (RADIANCE), an invitation to understand radiance – an experience of new ways of relating to affect and affection by interacting with all living beings and reconnecting with our planet.

Shahd Omar, somatic practitioner (Cairo), responded with Embodied Encounters, a playful attempt to redefine consent as the process of establishing agreements, and how to communicate it beyond verbal exchanges.



"How to experience the potentiality of sameness?
Try to think of synchronicity as a bodily practice. Invite someone else to join you for this exercise. Start with matching your breathing, its rate and depth. Then match your posture and gestures, and if they change position, you should continue matching, and if you change your position they should continue matching. Next, try mirroring each other’s speech. Pay attention to the way each of you speaks; the tone, the volume and verbal style and words and phrases that they use repeatedly. Capture their emotional state and translate it using your own actions and words."
—How To Love Many In Many Ways by Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche


The texts in this project are edited by Ismail Fayed, the visual identity for the games and exercises will be developed by Engy Aly, and Maha Maamoun has provided Engy with mentorship and direction throughout the development of the project.



Engy Mohsen (b. 1995, Cairo) is an architect and visual artist who lives and works in Cairo. Throughout her body of work, she fosters an interest in the discourse around socially-engaged practices and the notions of participation, collectivity, and discursivity. While she navigates the overlap between art and architecture, spatial design remains at the core of her practice. The tendency to ‘include the other’ is evidently informed by her practice of architecture, as it embraces scenarios that think of how a space can be best designed to accommodate its inhabitants. Next to that, Engy works with conversation as a medium, text, painting, and photography while borrowing the tools of performative research and self-publishing as means of sharing this accumulation of knowledge with a wider range of audiences. Being part of independent programs of art education and pedagogical spaces has pushed her to define, reshape, articulate, and situate my practice while still maintaining creative exploration. That allowed her to experiment with designing and hosting formats that invite non-artists and artists to produce knowledge about the connection between artists and their immediate context. This opened up a lot of questions about the organization of spaces for art practice, research and education. Engy's work explores different modes of participation, factors that impact social gatherings and their capacity for collective knowledge-making, and how to let conversations unfold through the emerging between individuals inhabiting the same space for a timed event. She usually looks into said spatial typologies, proposing to rethink existing models of meeting, while playing around with scenography, seating arrangements and venues of meeting. Her work aspires to design situations and to plan experiences that perform social dreaming and actions.


Engy holds a joint Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the German University in Cairo (GUC) and the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany in 2018. She has participated in Roznama 6 - Studio Program (2018) and MASS Alexandria’s Independent Studio and Study Programme (2019) and Artists for Artists Masterclass: Radical Care (2020). Her works have been exhibited in group shows in Abu Dhabi, Alexandria, Amman, Beirut, Berlin, Cairo, London, Ramallah, and Venice.




Engy Mohsen

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