Tips from the culture desk: Not just a film festival in Cairo
أقزام شرق العجوزة في مدرار، 2014

This is the week that the Cairo Film Festival begins, which as you can read here, is exciting and should keep you fairly busy culture-wise. But it’s important to note that there’s also some challenging music to hear, some unusual contemporary art to see, and the start of what’s sure to be a fascinating lecture series on architecture, film and politics to attend.

More Mind-Boggling Evidence at Nile Sunset Annex  opens Saturday

For their first exhibition since July, Nile Sunset Annex (one part of which is Mada Masr’s culture editor) present their contemporary art collection for the second time. The collection has been formed gradually as an artwork is collected from each monthly exhibition Nile Sunset Annex hosts, and it is supplemented by works made by Nile Sunset Annex themselves. It now consists of at least 18 artworks. This exhibition hopes to use unexpected display methods to make people look hard at the art, and it also launches Nile Sunset Annex’s contemporary art postcard collection.

Opening November 7 at 7pm, on through December. Nile Sunset Annex, Garden City, Cairo. Facebook event here. Poster by Adham Bakry.



Architecture, society and cinema through political shifts  Monday

Ahmed Mogib al-Rahman, who has a masters from Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering, gives the first of a series of lectures on how changes in political regimes and paradigms are reflected in cinema. The lectures will also go into the effects political changes have on architecture between the 1952 and 2011 revolutions. Monday’s introductory lecture will cover the Nasser era of 1952 till 1970, focusing on Henri Barakat’s Al-Bab al-Maftouh (The Open Door, 1963), which stars Faten Hamama and revolves around student protests. Rahman will also touch on Egyptian communism and the state war over the monarchy and the social dynamics all this represents.

November 9 at 7 pm, Megawra al-Khalifa (Khalifa Commuity Center), opposite Sayyida Ruqayya Mausoleum, beside Sajar al-Durr Dome, Ashraf Street, Khalifa, Cairo. See map here. Follow Megawra’s Facebook page for info on upcoming lectures. Photo courtesy Megawra.

Sam Shalabi, Dwarves of East Agouza and Invisible Hands  Friday

While living in the same building in Agouza, Maurice Louca (electronics, keys, drum machine), Sam Shalabi (electric guitar) and Alan Bishop (acoustic guitar, bass, sax), joined musical forces to create a body of a work under the moniker Dwarves of East Agouza. Their performances, largely improvised within a defined structure, combine textures that are rhythmic, shaabi and electronic. As Shalabi recently told Mada Masr, “it sounds like Captain Beefheart and Ahmed Adawiya jamming with Sun Ra... Maybe…”

The Dwarves’ performance will be sandwiched by Shalabi playing solo, and the theatrically bilingual Invisible Hands (Bishop, Cherif El Masri, Aya Hemeda and Adham Zidan). As ROOM says, the night promises “experimentation in folk, rock, noise, psychedelia, and improvisation, provided by some of the most challenging musical acts Cairo has to offer.”

November 13 at 8 pm, Room Art Space & Cafe, 10 Etehad al-Mohameyeen Street, Garden City. Tickets LE35. Facebook event here.