Saturday, January 1, 2011

Molahazat Ly Leia (Cairo Nightnotes) -Egypt

Downtown Cairo 1   /2007
Presenting Molahazat Ly Leia on this blog is challenging.  The images of this project are existing only on diapositives since the theaterperformance was an old fashioned slide-show, and not all of those survived the censorship of Mubarak's regime in Egypt.  We might have been naive, or rather courageous; but an attempt to create a theatrical lullaby for the vivid but also tensed city of Cairo, turned out in a very critical production.

For my first project in Egypt (and my first visit to the Arab World), I asked Shady El Dali to show me his city during nighttime.  I was seeking for the more obscurated side of Cairo.  Shady agreed, he was living at night anyway.  He took me on several trips, and everywhere I saw beauty, poetry, surrealism and absurdism, Shady would show me his hard reality behind.  Not only illuminated pyramids; but slums, inhuman workconditions, social injustice and poverty became the destinies of our nightly journies.  Shady loves his country -that's why he showed me its uglyness- and wanted to use this project to speak out about the symptoms of dictatorship.

We have made that lullaby for Cairo on stage, I had never expected it would be such a discomforting one.  While I wanted to soothe our audiance with pictures of Cairo, Shady wanted to wake them up by showing that same images.  This dynamics worked very well - one image has always plural realities.  What I care with me is the beauty of Egypt's people, their strenght to stand.  I've seen theatre groups rehearsing at 4AM, a time their theatre was finally available for art.  If life could'nt happen during the day - it had to happen at night.  Such experiences had major impact on my life & work.  It was the openness and generosity in Shady and the Egyptian people, which made that happen.  

Downtown Cairo 2   /2007

The following images are Rehearsal-photos by Eyal Pinkas, during the Performance in Theatre Frascati, Amsterdam 2008:

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Earthly Astronaut + Theatre Initiator + Metamorphotographer + Global Activist + Story Collector + Mythmaker + Maskings & Feathercraft = A part of me.