Tips from the culture desk: City culture if you’re trying to avoid the jellyfish
Still from Um Ghayeb by Nadine Salib

Since the North Coast jellyfish invasion has been the main lifestyle story for the past few weeks, many Cairenes not been as excited about heading up north on the weekends. Luckily many Cairo culture venues have settled into their summer programs of readings, talks and film screenings. If you’re still planning to be by the seaside, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s 15th International Summer Festival, set to start on Monday until July 24, is packed full of films, theater and music.

Um Ghayeb screening – Sunday

Nadine Salib’s 2014 award-winning documentary tells the story of Hanan, a woman in a rural Egyptian village whose infertility led her to be known as Um Ghayeb, “Mother of the Unborn,” a popular cultural term for a childless woman. As days pass, the film meditates on fertility and mortality, and Hanan wonders how to give her life meaning beyond motherhood. The film is in Arabic with English subtitles. Read thoughts on Um Ghayeb by three Mada writers here.

7 pm, July 9, Egyptian Film Critics Association, 36 Sherif Street, downtown Cairo. Free, but seating is limited. More information here.

I Am Not Your Negro screening – Monday

Heliopolis’s Balcon Lounge screens Raoul Peck’s celebrated 2016 documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, which tells the story of race, identity and violence in America by interpreting an unfinished manuscript by writer James Baldwin. The manuscript was intended to be adapted to a book titled Remember This House, which would have told the stories of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers, three civil rights leaders and friends of Baldwin who were assassinated for their advocacy. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

8 pm, July 10, Balcon Lounge, 26 Sohag st. Heliopolis. Tickets LE 25. More information here.

Khalkhala film program – Tuesday  

For this one-day program, the Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) screens four film and video works that deal with moments of social transformation, institutions of power and the nation state, produced between 1968 and 2014. They are by Sarah Maldoror, Sonia Khanafir, Maha Maamoun and Ziad Kalthoum. Khalkhala is the 6th event in the parallel program of the ongoing exhibition “Imagined Life in a Museum Vitrine,” the 4th chapter of the project “If Not for That Wall,” which has been organized by CIC over the last two years.

Still from Maha Maamoun’s The Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years

7 pm, July 11, CIC, 22 Abdel Khalek Tharwat Street, downtown Cairo, Free. More information here.

Doaa El Adl exhibition and book signing – Thursday

Political cartoonist Doaa El Adl launches her new book 50 Drawings and More on Women, which compiles highlights of her cartoons satirizing women’s issues in Egypt, and is available in English and French translations, at Falak cafe. After contributing to publications such as Rose al-Youssef and Al Dostor, the 38-year-old is currently a caricaturist at leading privately owned daily Al-Masry al-Youm. A discussion with the artist will follow the launch.

7 pm, July 13, 7 Gamal Eddin Abou al-Mahasen, Garden City, Cairo. Free. More information here.

Playback Theater with Khoyout Troupe – Friday

Khoyout Troupe’s evening of Playback Theater uses an interactive and improvisational theater technique based on retelling real personal stories shared by audience members. During the show, the 8-member troupe will reinterpret stories they are told in performance, music and dance.

7:30 pm, July 14, Gramophone, 6 Street 200, Degla, Maadi, Cairo. Tickets LE40. More information here.