Contemporary sparks between video, performance and urban planning in Cairo
Mada Masr - 26/01/2016
For two years, the Egyptian-American artist Amanda KM has invited other women to talk while smoking, drinking and picking at snacks. The theme of the project, entitled Filtered Conversations at the Round Table was female sexuality, a subject that is taboo in public and often neglected for decency or morality in private, and which the young artist has instead wanted to offer a safe space where women express themselves freely.
During each conversation, a camera registered the scene without audio: the gesture of the hands, the cigarettes that were rolled with tobacco or pulled out from packages, the comings and goings of fingers from the plates of sunflower seeds, dates, crackers and sweets, glasses that were continuously filled and emptied. These videos, along with objects that made a part of the backdrop to the conversations and a series of photographs are on view from December 13 at K Space Project, an exhibition space inside the Kafein, in Cairo, within the exhibition FilteredConversation, a project that was supported by funding from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.
Fruit of a collaboration between Studio Meemand The Japan Foundation Cairo Office, the Mapping Cairo workshop brought five students together in a laboratory that lasted 10 days and realized in November 2015, in which young people have worked side by side with architects, GIS experts, graphic designers and geographers to create a series of original maps based on data that tell the urban diversity of the Egyptian capital. By combining information on economic activities, public spaces, transportation, land use, the city and the population, the young people were encouraged to imagine creative ways to visualize and document the scenarios that emerged from the data, by relating different phenomena, identifying structural problems and defining areas for potential interventions to be implemented in the future urban plans for the metropolis.
The maps and displays created have been included in the traveling exhibition "Struggling Cities" opened on 14 December at the Gezira Art Center in Cairo: in addition to the results of Mapping Cairo, proposals made since the sixties for the urban expansion of Tokyo are also on display.
Studio Meem was founded by architect Manar Moursi in 2011 and since then has been involved in numerous projects with a particular focus on the direct participation of the public, such as the Mahatat 's Wonder Box, a device halfway between a megaphone and a street theater which collects and disseminates the stories told by passersby; and a special attention to the documentation of spontaneous creativity in Cairo, such as the Sidewalk Salon: 1001 Street Chairs in Cairo, which, curated with David Puig, pays homage to the chairs, often improvised, that border the streets and welcome the chatter of its residents.
The theatre, contemporary dance and performance festival 2B Continued, sponsored by Studio EmadEddin and its contemporary dance and theatre "laboratory", comes back for the sixth consecutive year. The festival offers young artists - writers, playwrights, choreographers - the opportunity to develop their projects with the support of professional directors and technicians who guide the setting up of the shows. Leading the team of professionals who accompanies the young artists is Ahmed El Attar from the Studio EmadEddin, along with the French dancer and choreographer Laurence Rondoni, Scottish production manager Alan Wright, Lebanese designer Hussein Baydoun and Saber al-Sayed, light designer from Cairo.
Three performances were staged on 17 and 19 December in one marathon at Teatro Falaki in Cairo: the play The Newcomer, from a screenplay by director Michael Romani, directed by Hani Sami; and dance performances Shadow of the Fish by Hend al-Balouty and Ya Sem by Sherin Hegazy.
Content originally published by Mada Masr and disseminated by Babelmed in the framework of the(Ebticar/Mada Masr).