Tandem Project

Exhibition - Faith Travels by Streetcar

How do faith, norms and freedom relate to each other? Does faith necessarily imply a restriction of freedom? When and how do the beliefs of religious communities and secular societies become visible, and how do religious conventions as well as normative practices change in the course of time?

Bringing together everyday objects from different monotheistic and secular contexts, Faith Travels by Streetcar invites the visitor to reflect on these questions. The exhibition explores the themes of "clothing," "food," and "children’s toys," highlighting that every society imposes rules and norms that restrict individual freedom, regardless of religious affiliation.

Rules and norms structuring every day life

Different religious and non-religious ideological convictions guide people’s actions and cannot simply be excluded from the public sphere. Rather, they accompany us wherever we go and are expressed in different ways: in conversations and political debates, through clothing, when we buy halal, kosher, or vegan food. The exhibition title refers to the presence of the “things in which we believe,” in everyday life and in the public sphere. 

Faith Travels by Streetcar emphasises that the rules and norms structuring social life are constantly renegotiated and transformed. This is due to the fact that believers change the rules by adopting them selectively, and reinterpreting, expanding, ignoring, or opposing them. Also in this respect the rules and norms derived from religion hardly differ from non-religious conventions: Much of what is considered acceptable today may have violated social taboos and rules of conduct only one or two generations ago, be it in terms of clothing or general etiquette. Conversely, certain statements and actions tolerated in the past now attract criticism, sometimes demanding the establishment of new rules. As a consequence, bodily practices and everyday objects change, and new ideas of what is normal emerge.

The sculptural form of the exhibition infrastructure by Tim Greaves

In order to create an exhibition which, through an interactive experience, invites visitors to intellectually engage with the exhibition topic, the artist Tim Greaves was invited to create an installation that structures the exhibition space, dividing it into several sections and allowing the display of approximately 50 objects, while translating the idea behind the exhibition into a sculptural form. Tim Greaves’ custom-made exhibition infrastructure consists of several wooden grids, which are interlaced and connected, thus creating spaces with semi-transparent “walls” or panels which can be used to arrange the objects in various ways, allowing visitors to explore the exhibition items and engage with the objects on display from different perspectives. The wooden grids play with the exhibition themes of limitation and freedom, as they can be seen as representing barrier-like norms. 

On a second look, they can actually be moved, circumvented, and looked-through. Thus blurring the boundaries between insider and outsider to the subject matter, they invite visitors to discover connections, similarities, as well as differences. A visually appealing sculptural form, Greaves’ installation can be considered an outright artwork offering a unique sensory and intellectually stimulating experience in line with the exhibition topic.

In two ‘remix workshops’, we will bring together a group of participants from a variety of backgrounds and ages. Over a four hour period, we create a space of knowledge exchange about the objects on display, as well as any other objects participants may have brought in, before collaboratively curating the exhibition anew.

Tim Graeves, artist based in Berlin


Disciplines Involved
Arabic and Islamic Studies, Sociology, Philosophy, Art
Cooperation Partner
Mitte Museum, Germany
Date of Event
31 May - 10 July 2024
Mitte Museum, Berlin, Germany
Media Echo
Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung, 29 May 2024
Evangelische Zeitung, 31 May 2024
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, 01 June 2024
RBB Kultur, 01.06.2024
Project Title
Faith Travels by Streetcar III
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project
Countries Involved
Germany, Egypt
AGYA Publication
Faith Travels by Streetcar