If you’re in Cairo and you want plants, this is the first week of the Orman Gardens’ annual flower show, bringing together farmers from all over the country to Giza to sell plants, seeds and gardening tools. If it’s films you’re after, there are two main options at Zawya — both biopics of iconic women: Jackie by Pablo Larraín and Dalida by Lisa Azuelos — which also continues its Ibero-American Film Week through Tuesday. If it’s art, check out Hany Rashed’s two-part exhibition The Last Farewell at Mashrabia Gallery and SOMA, which opens on Sunday. And for fun and music, catch Mada’s very own playlist night at Zigzag on Wednesday, featuring music selected by Mada Masr friends.
Or catch these recommendations in Cairo or Alexandria below, including our predictions for highlights of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival.
French producer Jérôme Ettinger’s band Egyptian Project (Sayed Emam with vocals, percussion, kawala; Ragab Sadek on dof, sagates, rek, darbouka, dhola; Salama Metwally on violin and rababa; Ettinger: arghul, computer, vocal, dof and Anthony Bondu on drums) tours its electro-acoustic French-Egyptian “infusion” in Cairo and Alexandria this week. Catch their mix of traditional Egyptian songs, trip-hop and electro at Cairo Jazz Club, at Darb 1718 or at Hangout in Alexandria.
10.30 pm, March 21, Cairo Jazz Club, 197 26 July St, Agouza, Cairo. Tickets LE75, more info here. 7 pm, March 23, Darb 1718, Fustat, Cairo. Tickets LE50, more info here. 8 pm, March 24, Hangout, Victor Emanouil El Thaleth St, Sidi Gaber, Alexandria. More info here.
As part of their Syria month, the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo has a one-off screening of this poignant film, on a Syrian family and the intersection of their private lives with the surrounding political turmoil. Filmed over five years, this award-winning 2015 documentary by UK filmmaker Sean McAllister is an intimate portrait of enduring love in the midst of war and revolt.
7.30 pm, March 19, 1 Dr. Mahmoud Azmi St, Zamalek. Free, but arrive early to find a seat — more info here.
Running from March 17 to April 8, there’s quite a few events at the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival that look promising this week.
MoCA – Museum of Contemporary Art, artist talk and performance — Thursday
D-CAF’s visual art program opens with “MoCA – Museum of Contemporary Art” by Romanian visual artist Manuel Pelmus, whose choreographic works have been staged all over the world. The opening event involves a talk and a new site-specific performative action, realized with local performers, but the rest of the exhibition (also called Museum of Contemporary Art) continues throughout the festival at the Kodak Passageway, seeking to dismantle, criticize and make visible museum conventions. The show also has work by London-based artist duo Noor Mirza and Brad Butler and US-based artist Adelita Husni-Bey, who has collaborated with Mada Masr in the past.
5 pm, March 23, Kodak Passageway, Adly St, opposite the synagogue, downtown Cairo. More info here.
Made in Egypt concert — Friday
This music night packs in five diverse local bands: Black Theama, a trio who work with reggae, Nubian rhythms and African influences; Hawas, an eight-member band who use a jazzy sound to tell personal human stories; Finrod, a trio focused on ambient electronic music; Ritza, whose surf-pop/electro synth-based grooves are a vehicle for lead singer Maii Waleed, and folk band Mawaweel, with their twist on traditional songs from the Egyptian countryside.
7 pm, March 24, 23 Falaki St, Bab al-Louq. More info here.
Lookout interactive performance — starts Friday
This project invites us to consider our relationship to urban spaces we’re familiar with and look beyond what currently exists, to future potentials: Each performance brings together one audience member with one child performer to look out over the city and imagine its future together. It takes place five times a day, in time slots ranging from 2 pm – 7.30 pm, so check the schedule closely and book a ticket in advance.
2 pm – 7.30 pm, weekends starting March 24, GrEEK Campus, 23 Falaki St, Bab al-Louq. More info here.