a collection of games & exercises

in collaboration with Engy Moshen edited by Ismail Fayed, visual identity by Engy Aly.

Contributors: Eliana Otta, Ingo Niermann (The Army of Love), Mohamed Al-Bakeri, Nada Elkalaawy, Petra Mrša, Rania Atef, Raúl Hott, Shahd Omar, Soukaina Joual, Eleonora Toniolo

What if we start practising love not only within our romantic relationships, our families or with our friends but with Ourselves, Other/s and Other Other/s? What happens if we understand love, not only as something that concerns us privately but also as something that we can practise collectively. What if we start to understand love not as something that happens to us, but also as something that we can actively practise. And what would a collective practice of love towards Ourselves, Other/s, and Other Other/s eventually look like?

How to Love Many in Many Ways is a set of games and exercises that playfully challenge the way we see and practise love and with whom we share it. Starting with the question of “How to Love Many in Many Ways” Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche developed 12 exercises that can be played with Yourself, Other/s, and Other Other/s. The players can be objects, plants, animals or people that share a completely different worldview or come from a different context.

Believing that the question How to Love Many in Many Ways should be addressed by many, Gabriel and Engy invited artists to respond to the question “How to Love Many in Many Ways”. Each of the 9 other artists developed an exercises or game that offer ways of practising love that you might have never considered before.
The response from contributors varied as did their diverse disciplines and backgrounds that range from the artistic to the scientific, and from the somatic to the satirical.

Crta za Beskraj: how to love many in many ways, Centar Knap, Zagreb, 2023. Phots: Ivor Lapić photos

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 You Do for Love, a boardgame 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.

Rehearsing Horizontalities by Eliana Otta, moderated by Engy Mohsen. 2023, Shedhalle, Proto-Club4, Photo: Carla Schleiffer

“How to How to Love Many in Many Ways“ moderated by Gabriel Hensche. Floating University, Berlin 2022

game session at Iron Velvet, New York 2022 Photo: Cristian Chironi

game sesseion at Rote Fabrik, Zurich 2021

game session at school of commons, Zurich 2022

game session at Shedhalle, Zurich 2022

game sesseion at Rote Fabrik, Zurich 2021

game session at the University, Bern 2022

© Gabriel Hensche 2024