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Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Loved Egyptian play gets ready for the big screen

Loved Egyptian play gets ready for the big screen | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The performance of the play Tahrir Monologues that was held 25 times in Cairo, Alexandria, Minya and even Geneva is now filmed, subtitled and ready to be shared with an even larger, online and offline audience. The filmed production of Tahrir Monologues is directed by Ahmed Abdalla (Director ofMicrophone and Heliopolis) and produced by Qabila TV.

People's stories inspired Tahrir Monologues. Everything from those told in small circles in Tahrir Square during the first 18 days of the uprising in 2011, to other emotional, intense national experiences. A group of people collected these stories after Mubarak stepped down and launched Tahrir Monologues.

"We loved those casual storytelling moments; we loved them for the hope they gave us, for what they did to remind us of what we were part of, and we loved them most of all for reminding us of what we are capable of," read the statement circulated by the Tahrir Monologues crew promoting this event.

The group takes real stories from people on the ground and at home, experiencing current events and act them out on stage, thus preserving and documenting these stories.

The screening will be hosted along with a concert by Ramy Essam, often dubbed "The Revolution's Singer."

 

Programme:
Wednesday, 6 February, 6:30pm
Goethe Institute, 5 El-Bostan Street
Downtown, Cairo

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Égypte• La révolte des artistes

Égypte• La révolte des artistes | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Des acteurs ont porté plainte et gagné leur procès contre des islamistes qui les avaient accusés d’immoralité. Pour les artistes, les limites imposées par les religieux sont une attaque contre l’identité culturelle du pays.
Egypt-actus's insight:

Depuis leur arrivée au pouvoir, les islamistes égyptiens ont lancé plusieurs assauts contre les arts et la culture. Les islamistes n’ont pas d’avis tranché sur la culture et l’art. Certains n’acceptent que “l’art qui a un [bon] sens”, tandis que d’autres se désintéressent de la question tant que certaines limites sont respectées, notamment en ce qui concerne la nudité ou les sujets tabous. D’autres encore, plus radicaux, considèrent l’expression artistique comme une forme d’occidentalisation encourageant des valeurs contraires aux traditions islamiques du pays. Les artistes n’ont pas seulement été attaqués par les chefs religieux, ils ont été agressés dans la rue, où des partisans des Frères musulmans ou des mouvements salafistes s’en sont directement pris à eux.

Pour de nombreux artistes, les limites imposées par les religieux sont une attaque non seulement contre les libertés arrachées après la révolution de 2011, mais aussi contre l’identité culturelle du pays. Dès le 23 janvier 2012, date de la première session de l’Assemblée du peuple [chambre basse du Parlement égyptien] avec 70 % d’élus islamistes, des milliers d’artistes ont convergé vers l’opéra du Caire pour appeler le premier Parlement élu depuis la révolution à veiller au respect de la liberté d’expression. Depuis, l’antagonisme entre ces deux groupes n’a cessé de croître, et les tensions se sont poursuivies toute l’année. 

La mobilisation est organisée par le Freedom of Creativity Front [le Front de la liberté de création], un regroupement d’artistes et de penseurs né de l’inquiétude suscitée par plusieurs interventions télévisées d’islamistes à propos des arts et de la culture.Le porte-parole du mouvement salafiste, Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat, a en effet qualifié Naguib Mahfouz (prix Nobel de littérature en 1988) d’infidèle et déclaré que ses livres encourageaient l’athéisme et l’homosexualité. Al-Shahat s’en est également pris aux constructions pharaoniques, disant qu’elles promouvaient une culture qui n’honorait pas Dieu, et a déclaré que la démocratie était un péché [une fatwa appelant à détruire le sphinx et les pyramides de Gizeh a aussi été promulguée].D’autres prédicateurs islamistes ont publiquement attaqué l’immoralité de certains artistes.

 

Plus : http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2013/01/30/la-revolte-des-artistes

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El-Fan Midan calls on artists to continue the revolution

El-Fan Midan calls on artists to continue the revolution | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The popular street festival El-Fan Midan is calling for artists to help paint a mural entitled “The Revolution Continues” on 31 January and 1 February. 

The mural, which is intended to show the fight for freedom continues, will be exhibited in Abdeen Square, the regular venue for the arts festival, on Saturday 2 February.

 

'The Revolution Continues' is a collective project open to all Egyptian artists.

Due to the current state of instability pervading the country, El-Fan Midan will not be held in its regular form this month. The mural is intended to underscore the role of art as a tool of resistance, with the ability to mirror the dreams and ideas of Egypt’s artists.

Launched two months after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak by the Independent Culture Coalition, El-Fan Midan or ‘Art is a Square’ is a touring street festival that aims to bring arts and culture, along with political awareness, to the streets of Egypt.

Artists are invited to participate in painting the mural on Thursday, 31 January, from 10am to 10pm at either Qursaya Island or in Garden City’s Association for Fine Art Appreciators, and on Friday, 1 February, at Artellewa.

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Award-winning revolution doc causes a stir in Cairo (24/1/2013 at 21h00)

Award-winning revolution doc causes a stir in Cairo (24/1/2013 at 21h00) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Directed by Omar Shargawi and Karim El-Hakim, '1/2 Revolution' is described as a “a fast-paced handheld thriller” for its raw, candid, and highly personal presentation of the violent and highly emotional events of the initial 18 days of the Egyptian revolution.

The documentary film will be screened on Thursday at Cairo's downtown cultural venue, Makan. It will be followed by a Q&A with the directors.

The Danish/Egyptian production revolves around a group of activist friends who took part in protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square during Egypt's revolution in 2011. With cameras for weapons, Shargawi and El-Hakim took the streets to capture the rebellion spreading through the streets and the brutality of security forces. 

This documentary film has been screened at more than 40 international film festivals, including an appearance at the highly esteemed Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and Dubai International Film Festival in 2011. "1/2 Revolution" was awarded Best Documentary Film at the Aljazeera Documentary Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Karama Human Rights Film Festival in Jordan.

In his official director’s statement, filmmaker Omar Shargawi described the experience of making "1/2 Revolution" as "an extremely rich personal experience that has changed a lot in me on the human, personal and professional level… We had to record what was happening despite the dangers we faced on a daily basis.”

Egypt-actus's insight:

Karim El-Hakim felt that creating this film was a duty. “It became something we had to do, even though it was dangerous. And in a way it was also the adrenalin rush of being in this kind of protest and uprising," he explains in a statement on the film’s official website.

The documentary "1/2 Revolution" will also be screened among a number of films by independent Arab filmmakers at the 8th Arab-American National Museum in Michigan, USA, during its 8th Annual Arab Film Festival, which will take place from Thursday, 24 January until Saturday, 26 January.

 

Programme:
Thursday, 24 January at 9pm
Makan Culture Centre, 1 Saad Zaghloul St. El Dawaween, Cairo

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El Mastaba helps Egypt reconnect with its folk roots

El Mastaba helps Egypt reconnect with its folk roots | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egyptian folk music came close to disappearing a few years ago when fewer and fewer venues scheduled concerts and the number of young musicians learning to play the traditional instruments fell. Hoping to prevent the music from vanishing all together, Zakaria Ibrahim established El Mastaba which became the centre for numerous bands who perform Egyptian folk music.

Ibrahim founded his band El Tanbura 25 years ago in Port Said. They play a variety of traditional songs using local instruments like El Sememya, an old style of lyre.

El Mastaba was established in 2000 with the aim of documenting traditional Egyptian folk music. Said Ibrahim explained: “The centre has more than 300 hours of audio and video archival musical performances of our bands. We support folklore bands like Rango and El Nuba in many ways, either through marketing their work or by producing albums of their songs.”

 

Ibrahim defines folk music as any traditional kind of music that is transmitted orally from one generation to another. “It is not just a traditional kind of music, it is also a style that gets renewed by each generation who introduce new instruments or new shows, to keep up with what is happening in their generation and to reach a greater audience,” he said.

Young people in Egypt are more concerned about politics since the revolution, resulting in a greater interest in Egyptian identity and in folk music. “Folk music focuses more on political and social issues; for example El Tanbura has performed many songs describing both historical and contemporary issues like the nationalisation of the Suez Canal and the Israeli invasion of Gaza in 2008,” Ibrahim said. El Tanbura preformed their Egyptian folksongs in Tahrir Square during the revolution which Ibrahim said inspired protesters.

Since the revolution the interest in national treasures like folk music has grown, as witnessed in the latest advertisement for one of Egypt’s mobile phone carriers. Two of El Mastaba’s bands performed in the ad; El Tanbura from Port Said and the Bedouin Jerry-can Band of Arish, which performs traditional music using the Bedouin semsemya and other instruments. (…)

Egypt-actus's insight:

Over the years El Mastaba’s bands have participated in many international music festivals around the world. The Rango, El Nuba and El Tanbura bands just returned from performances at the Womad (world of music, arts and dance) festival in the United Kingdom, where they won several awards.

Sufi music represents a respectable part of Egyptian cultural heritage and it is represented by El Mastaba as well. “Sufi music is not considered a religious art, but folkloric, and as long as its innovators and performers are part of the general population Sufi music cannot be separated from folk music,” Ibrahim said. The centre represents and supports the Sufi music band Darawish Abu El Gheit, which recently participated in a music festival in China.

El Mastaba does not receive government support because the bands that have made it their home are not registered by the Ministry of Culture.

Ibrahim is hopeful traditional Egyptian music will be around for a long time to come. “Progress does not mean we have to neglect our culture and heritage, but unfortunately we often believe that change means imitating western culture,” he said. “I believe the opposite to be true; we must find our own way which suits our traditions and is compatible with oriental culture.”

 

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Making the city ‘home’: Redefining public art between the state, businesses and the people

Making the city ‘home’: Redefining public art between the state, businesses and the people | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Artist Omneia Naguib wants to “occupy the sky” by moving the familiar language of the street — imprints of political posters and common graffiti motifs — onto the grandiose billboard spaces typically reserved for those with power and money.
Egypt-actus's insight:

Protesters are placing eye patches, a symbol of their injuries, on the Qasr al-Nil lion statues, and pedestrians seek shadow underneath them or shower in a fountain in one of Cairo’s roundabouts. The domineering vision of the state and private corporations of what constitutes public art has opened up since the January revolution began.

Activists, residents and artists alike are all negotiating public space and art to send out their messages, connect more closely with their communities or simply feel at home.

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Polish musicians celebrate the birth of a legend in Cairo

Polish musicians celebrate the birth of a legend in Cairo | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In the classical music scene, 2013 marks a number of important anniversaries. Germans celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner (1813-1883); Italians the birth of Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901); and Poles the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the leading Polish composers and conductors Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994).

Not only in Poland but across the world, Polish orchestras, small ensembles and soloists will perform works by Lutoslawski, a composer believed to have been one of the last devotees of what many see today as "old-fashion harmony."

"Music can have a multitude of dimensions," Lutoslawski was quoted as saying. "When it seems to be saying one thing, it delivers something completely different as if contradicting itself."

Joining the international celebrations, three Polish musicians – Szymon Klima on clarinet, Joachin Mencel on piano and Adam Kowalewski on contrabass – will perform a concert on Wednesday under the title 'Lutoslawski-Retuned' at the Cairo Opera House's small hall.

 

The concert will feature Lutoslawski's music being played with an innovative touch, blending classical music with jazz accents. 

Programme:

Wednesday, 6 February at 8pm
Small Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek

 

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Egypt's 'The Square' wins big at Sundance

Egypt's 'The Square' wins big at Sundance | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Among the winners of the Sundance Film Festival for 2013 is a documentary film 'The Square' by award winning director Jehane Noujaim, scoring the Audience World Cinema Award in the Documentary category. 

Noujaim is the same director behind ‘Pangea Day’ and ‘Control Room.’

‘The Square’ is still a work in progress. The filmmakers prepared an initial edit of the film for Sundance, but are continuing to raise funds to work on its production and distribution plan.

The film follows a group of Egyptian activists and citizen journalists who document the political events over the past two years as they develop. Among the activists followed are Khaled Abdallah, of Mosireen Film Collectiveand actor along with Aida El-Kashef, also a member of Mosireen and recently won an award for best actress in the Dubai Film Festival.

Producer Karim Amer and Cinematographer Mohamed Hamdy were present in Utah, USA to collect the award.

The film crew will continue their quest to fund the film independently through their crowdfunding.

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Cairo celebrates the art of calligraphy

Cairo celebrates the art of calligraphy | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Cairo may be best known for its ancient Egyptian ruins, but it is also home to a vast amount of Islamic history.

In the busy Cairo streets that history is there for all to see with its ancient mosques, often decorated with intricate Koranic script.

It’s that detailed artwork that is being celebrated in Cairo during January, with the city welcoming calligraphers from around the world to take part in the International Festival for Arabic Calligraphy.

Research specialist in Arabic calligraphy at the Biblioteca Alexandrina Calligraphy Center, Mohamed Hasan is one of the organizers.

He says the traditional art from is something that exists in everyday life, ‘When I walk in the streets I see inscriptions from the Ottoman era, the Mamlouk era. At the same time there were lots of crafts linked to this art; the Koran production was here, a lot of manufacturing, paintings, even street signs, the old blue ones that we see all over Egypt,’’ said Hasan (...)

 

Arabic calligraphy is a major form of artistic expression in the Islamic world, with many different kinds of scripts.

The most famous ones are the Kufic style, a more geometric style, where many Korans have been written using this font. Another is the Tulut style used by the Mamluks in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Calligraphy is a form of artistic expression that acquired great prestige because it was used to transcribe the Koran.(...)

Egypt-actus's insight:

The body has lent the festival a piece by Iranian artist Amir Falsaffy, estimated to be worth around 10,000 U.S dollars.

Another item on display is a piece created by an Egyptian Jewish jeweler which uses mother of pearl. This creation dates back to 1912.

The Bibliotecha Alexandrina is running a project called The Digital Library of Inscriptions and Calligraphies, Dr Shereen El Kabbani, is involved in the project. (..)

The project that El Kabbani is working on documents all monuments containing Islamic script, either in Arabic, Farsi or Turkish to make them accessible to researchers or anyone with an interest. They list the location, historical period, materials used, translation, font and links to any publications that refer to the monument.

Among the specialist researchers are also artists keen to show off their designs, one of them is Yousry El Mamlouk.

Mamlouk showed off his brush skills fusing Thuloth and Jali Diwani styles.
Traditionally calligraphers were highly respected as many of them used verses from the Koran in their works of art.

But the skill isn’t only limited to paper and parchment, it’s also visible in ceramics, architecture and garments.



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Cinéma: "Un révolutionnaire ne démissionne jamais" (film sur Ahmad Foued Nejm)

Cinéma: "Un révolutionnaire ne démissionne jamais" (film sur Ahmad Foued Nejm) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Ahmad Foued Nejm, à qui le film est dédié, est un témoin vivant de l'histoire contemporaine de son pays. Son combat a commencé depuis l'occupation anglaise, pour se poursuivre pendant les règnes de Abdennasser, de Sadate et de Moubarak.

C'est d'après le propre journal du poète égyptien Ahmad Foued Nejm qu'est né le scénario d'El Fagoumi, signé Issam Chammaâ. Cet auteur est également le réalisateur du film qui porte le même nom et qui a vu le jour en 2011, dédié aux martyrs de la révolution égyptienne. Cette révolution n'est qu'une bataille dans la guerre que le poète mène depuis sa jeunesse. Agé aujourd'hui de 83 ans, Ahmad Foued Nejm est un témoin vivant de l'histoire contemporaine de son pays. Son combat a commencé depuis l'occupation anglaise, pour se poursuivre pendant les règnes de Abdennasser, de Sadate et de Moubarak.

Entre fiction et documents d'archives, l'écriture et la réalisation de Issam Chammaâ s'approchent plutôt de l'adaptation libre. Ahmad Foued Nejm devient ainsi Adham Nessr, rôle campé par Khaled Saoui, et son compagnon de route, Cheikh Imam Issa, est dans le film Cheikh Hamam Moussa, interprété par Salah Abdallah. La trame est ponctuée par les événements marquants de l'histoire de l'Egypte, qui passe de révolution et espoir de changement, à défaite et désillusion, avant que le coeur du pays ne batte de nouveau. Cette dynamique est portée par la diversité du peuple, où les intellectuels, de tous bords politiques, côtoient les gens simples. Le terrain commun est souvent la pauvreté et les difficiles conditions de vie, mais surtout les rêves de gloire de la nation.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Dans cette précarité est né Nejm, orphelin de père, amoureux des livres au point que sa mère, ne pouvant subvenir à ses besoins, a dû l'inscrire dans un orphelinat pour qu'il puisse continuer à aller à l'école. Au début du film, on découvre Nejm récitant ses poèmes dans la rue. Un élan de générosité qui le caractérise. Cette scène le présente tel que le voit l'auteur du film, tel qu'il a choisi de l'écrire et de le filmer. Pour Issam Chammaâ, Nejm est l'homme simple, spontané, fils du peuple et proche de tous. C'est aussi un être intelligent socialement. Il a le don de savoir s'adresser et toucher tous ceux qu'il rencontre, autant les plus hauts gradés de la police que les amis proches et les femmes. C'est ce même don qui lui fera dire des mots magiques, exprimer toute la complexité de la réalité qui l'entoure, à travers des rimes simples et symboliques, telles des fables des temps modernes.

L'auteur de Masr yamma ya bahiya (que tu es belle, Egypte) est souvent au coeur du combat politique et social. Il ne compte plus ses passages en prison. C'est là qu'il écrira, par exemple, son poème Morr et kalam (les mots amers). Son inspiration vient de tout ce qu'il vit. Dans le film, on découvre les circonstances dans lesquelles sont nés chaque poème et chaque texte auxquels la musique de Cheikh Imam Issa a donné une autre vie, une autre dimension. L'intégration de ces chansons --autrement arrangées et interprétées par Ahmad Saâd-- dans les scènes du film, renforcent son rythme et le sauvent parfois de la monotonie. C'est, en somme, un film nostalgique et sans prétention, dont le principal propos semble affirmer l'aspect continu de l'acte révolutionnaire. Et comme le dit si bien le Che, auquel Nejm a dédié le poème Guevara mat (Guevara est mort), «un révolutionnaire ne démissionne jamais».

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Egyptian art lovers get ready to talk revolution

Egyptian art lovers get ready to talk revolution | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Under the title 'Revolution Talks,' Prince Mohammed Wahid Din Salim Museum in Matariya is to celebrate the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution on 27 and 28 January 2013.

Al Thawra Tatahadath (Revolution Talks) festivities at Prince Mohamed Wahid Din Salim Museum will inaugurate with a photography exhibition by artist and director of the museum, FarisAhmed Faris. Forty photos tell the story of the 18-day revolution and the Egyptian people. The exhibition also includes a number of Egyptian photographers like Walid Ragheb, Mohamed Aly and Emad Lotfi.

For two nights following the opening night, Revolution Talks will feature a number of concerts, stage performances and film screenings. The exact programme will be released soon.

Programme:
27 and 28 January
Prince Mohamed Wahid Din Salim Museum
Tere't El-Gabal Street, El-Matariya

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