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el Seed and Aya Tarek Discuss Calligraffiti

Born to Tunisian parents in the suburbs of Paris, el Seed has risen to the forefront of the Arab graffiti scene over the past few years. He stands out for his unique style which mixes Arabic calligraphy with the modern art of graffiti, relying on poignant messages and unconventional writing styles. el Seed started out as a business consultant and gradually developed his style while learning to read and write in Arabic over the past decade. Last spring, Medrar.TV and Alexandrian street artist Aya Tarek visited el Seed in Dubai's Tashkeel arts center where he was staying for a residency to discuss his sources of inspiration and the ways his work has been received by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Downey, Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

[Cover of

Anthony Downey, editor, Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection of essays on new media and critical practices in the Middle East? Anthony Downey (AD): Ibraaz was launched in 2011 by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation. It became immediately clear to us, as an online research and publishing forum, that one of the key issues affecting cultural production across North Africa and the Middle East was new and social media and, in particular, how they were being utilized in contemporary art practices. This concern resulted in the ...

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ستاتوس\الوضع: العدد 2.1

يسرنا أن نعلن صدور العدد الثاني من مجلة "ستاتوس\الوضع" الصوتية. "ستاتوس\الوضع" مجلة صوتية مستقلة، تعاونية ونقدية وناشئة، تصدر شهرياً وتجمع بين التحليل والتغطية الأخبارية والسخرية. تنشر مقابلات\محادثات وتقارير ميدانية ومراجعات وتعليقات عميقة وقراءات. وتشمل المقابلات ناشطين وصحفيين وباحثين ومواطنين من منطقة الشرق الأوسط وغيرها. نركز أيضاً على المحركين والناشطين في "المجتمع المدني" وغيره الذين يحفّزون الفضاءات والأمكنة والأنماط الجديدة من الفعل التي ولدتها الانتفاضات. العدد ٢ .١ في هذا العدد تستضيف "ستاتوس\الوضع" وتتحدث مع عدد من الفنانين والموسيقيين المعروفين والصاعدين في العالم العربي. يُجْري بسام حداد مقابلة مع مؤدية الفن الحي ...

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London Event: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon Reading and Book Signing (February 24)

[Cover of Sinan Antoon's

In Conversation: Sinan Antoon Winner of 2014 Saif Ghoibash Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for The Corpse Washer Sinan Antoon will be in conversation with Paul Blezard, from the judging panel. The event will also feature: A reading from the novel, The Corpse Washer, a Q&A, followed by book signing and a reception Special performance by virtuoso oud player Khyam Allami. This is a free event, but please reserve your place by e-mailing: picadilly@waterstones.com Event Time: 6:30-9:00 pm Event Location: Waterstone’s Picadilly (4th Floor), 203/206 Picadilly, London W1J 9HD   For more details click here.

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Islam Kamal: Filmmaker from Alexandria

Alexandrian filmmaker Islam Kamal studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University, before enrolling in several film workshop organized by the Goethe Institut and Jesuits Cultural Center. He worked as DoP in several films in addition to filming and directing his own films and video art works. In this interview with Medrar.TV, Kamal explains his approaches to filmmaking using several examples of his work, including 'Hayat' and 'Local Copy'. He also discusses alternative ways for reaching broader audiences such as screening films in local coffee shops and NGOs. Amira El Masry translated the interview to English.

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موسى أساريد: أربعة نصوص

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              -I- روح الصحراء تُفَسّر إحدى الأساطير الرّائعة سببَ بقاء ...

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Khaled Galal Eldeen: A Rolling Stone Gather No Moss

A rolling stone gathers no moss is the first solo show by Khaled Galal Eldeen in Cairo. Paper collages, printed sheets of silk, GIFs and an animation video offer different states of visual flatness, reflecting the mixed reality of objects made after the internet. Galal Eldeen developed the work over the past four years, using found images to create soft, hypnotic patterned surfaces  Khaled Galal Eldeen holds a BFA and MFA from Alexandria University, where he currently works as a teaching assistant in the painting department. He completed the MASS-Alexandria residency program in 2010/11 and 2011/12, after which he was a resident at Cittadellarte-Fondazione ...

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Cairo Downtown Passages Redesign

The Cairo Laboratory for Urban Studies and Environmental Research (CLUSTER) has been exploring the network of Cairo’s downtown passages for almost three years. as CLUSTER co-founder Omar Nagati explains that they see the passageways as an 'in-between' space that allows for unique possibilities for the development and revitalization of the city center. Their interest also stems from hopes to engage the public more with existing arts and culture spaces, as curator and CLUSTER co-founder Beth Stryker tells Medrar.TV. For a pilot phase, supported by the Center for Culture and Development (CKU) and the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI), CLUSTER ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom

[Cover of Elisabeth R. Anker,

Elisabeth R. Anker, Orgies of Feeling: Melodrama and the Politics of Freedom. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Elisabeth Anker (EA): There are two answers to this question. The first is political: the idea for the book came out of anger at both the extensively violent response by the US to the 9/11 events, and the widespread support given to these operations by a vast majority of the US populace. I wondered why a narrative of good and evil mobilized such intense national sentiment to legitimate aggressive state power, while it also depoliticized this power by claiming it was a moral obligation upon injured victims. The ...

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Dead Sea Living

[Image by Intuitive Pictures]

Dead Sea Living, directed by German Gutierrez. Canada/France/Palestine, 2013. Although the Dead Sea has no life, it provides living through the rich minerals extracted from it. Yet the flood of water into the Dead Sea is slowly receding. It has witnessed a ninety-foot drop in only thirty years on a lake that is just sixty-seven kilometers long and twenty kilometers wide. At this rate, the Dead Sea will bottom out as a small pond in about fifty years. German Gutierrez’s film Dead Sea Living depicts the dying of the Dead Sea and its economic, environmental, social, and political implications. Gutrierrez is a Colombian film director currently based in Canada who has made ...

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الجسد والسلطة في السينما( 2): قراءة جندريّة

[مشهد من فيلم

الأثر المابعد حداثيّ، والسلطة ينزع النقاد إلى القول بأنّ تيار ما بعد الحداثة يعتمد على الانتقال من أحاديّة الحقيقة إلى تعدّدها وتداخلها وصراعات الرؤى فيها، تلك التي تقوم على فرديّة مطلقة ومتذرّرة، أو بحسب براين ماكهايل في كتابه"المتخيّل الما بعد حداثيّ" :"الانتقال من المنظوريّة التي تسمح للحداثيّ أن يبرز على نحو واضح حقيقة معقّدة، ولكنّها تظلّ أحاديّة في النهاية، إلى حقل متقدّم من الأسئلة حول قدرة الحقائق المختلفة جذريًا على التعايش والاصطدام والتداخل.". وهو ما يرد على لسان إحدى شخصيّات لويس بروخيس:" من أكون؟ ذاتي اليوم، الحائرة، إنسان الأمس، المنسي، إنسان الغد، الذي لا يمكن توقعه؟". يمكننا تتبّع ذلك التحوّل من المركزيّة الحداثيّة، إلى ...

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Representing Iraq and its Diaspora: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Samir and Sinan Antoon

In this interview, Samir, an Iraqi filmmaker, discusses what has influenced and shaped his aesthetic, spanning from various film techniques to the shifting terrains of Middle East politics. During the interview, Jadaliyya co-editor Sinan Antoon asks Samir to reflect on history and memory in Iraq, examining the ways in which these themes have contributed to representations of Iraq and its diaspora. Samir's latest film, Iraqi Odyssey (2014), has been nominated for the Swiss Film Award.  Please find the transcript of the interview below the player. The interview includes four parts that you can click on separately. Samir was born in Baghdad and raised in ...

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New Media and the Spectacle of the War on Terror

US-based artists of the Arab diaspora who have explored the interventionist potential of new media have often done so within the context of the American spectacle: a reality in which life is reduced to mere representation and social interactions and civic engagement are mediated through mass media and mass consumption. This reduction of life into a flow of imagery that renews itself as it permeates the public realm has been scrutinized in art since the 1960s, when the celebratory veneer of the post-war ...

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Nada Baraka's Fractals

Fractals is the first solo exhibition by Egyptian painter Nada Baraka. It was hosted in January 2015 by Mashrabia Gallery in Cairo. Experimenting with a range of materials, Baraka takes inspiration from science-fiction novels and internet images, and morphs them spontaneously in her paintings to examine the representation of the human body. Baraka (b. 1990) is a painter, based in Cairo. She completed a masters degree in fine art at Central Saint Martins, London in 2014. She also completed a bachelors ...

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Burj el Imam: Music by Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin and Alan Bishop

Beirut-based musicians Sharif Sehnaoui and Raed Yassin came together with Alan Bishop for a special performance of their upcoming "Burj el Imam" album at 100Copies Music Space in Cairo, Egypt. The album is a collaboration between Sehnaoui and Yassin known as 'A Trio' and Bishop, and is produced by Annihaya Records. Sehnaoui is a free improvising guitarist. He plays electric and acoustic guitars, with (or without) extended and prepared techniques, focusing on expanding the intrinsic ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon Reading and Book Signing (24 February, London)

In Conversation: Sinan Antoon Winner of 2014 Saif Ghoibash Prize for Arabic literary Translation for The Corpse Washer 6:30-9:00 pm Waterstone’s Picadilly (4th Floor), 203/206 Picadilly, London W1J 9HD Sinan Antoon will be in conversation with Paul Blezard, from the judging panel. The event will also feature: * A reading from the novel, The Corpse Washer, a Q&A, followed by book signing and a reception *  Special performance by virtuoso oud player Khyam Allami. * This is a free event, ...

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'The Thing Is to Be Light as Air': An Interview with Mai Al-Nakib

Last spring, Bloomsbury published Mai Al-Nakib’s debut work of fiction, The Hidden Light of Objects (released in the US this January). Since then the collection of short stories has won praise and acclaim from across the globe, including the First Book Award at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2014. The Hidden Light of Objects is not so much a collection but rather, to borrow from the language of Gilles Deleuze, an assemblage of fictions whose themes, characters and things are deeply ...

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القمر فوق بحر الرمال العظيم

في قلب بحر الرمال العظيم، في الجانب المصري من الصحراء الكبرى، وبمنطقة ما على تخوم ليبيا والسودان، حطّ ركبنا المكون من ثلاث سيارات دفع رباعي من طراز "تويوتا لاندكروزر". يُفضلها السائقون البدو في ارتياد الرمال؛ هكذا قال لي سائقنا ودليلنا "طلعت" من بدو مطروح ويتخذ من واحة "سيوة" قاعدة لنشاطاته في سياحة السفاري و"الأوف رود". كانت السيارة تصعد كثباناً يصل ارتفاعها لمائة متراً والمحرك يزمجر كأسد غاضب، ثم تهبطها انزلاقاً بالسرعة البطيئة في صمت والمحرك شبه مُطفأ. توقفنا ...

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A Compound in Common: The Case of “Little Duweiqa,” Haram City

While the eyes of the world focused on the intermittent occupations of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in the four years since the Egyptian uprising of 2011, a different kind of social action has persisted at the city’s periphery. On 13 August 2010 and in February 2011, during the eighteen days leading to Hosni Mubarak’s fall, a group of 231 resettled slum dweller families from the impoverished Duweiqa district of Cairo abandoned their allocated twenty three square-meter homes to squat liveable ones in Haram ...

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Rami Abadir and Mostafa El-Sayed: On 'Shawakish' Album

In early 2014, Cairo based musicians Rami Abadir and Mostafa El Sayed decided to jam together. They had known one another for a few years and shared a passion for using synthesizers and analog technologies in their music production. The result of this improvisation session was different from the music they played individually. So they decided to push it further and start performing live, while continuing to develop it. Almost a year later, they launched ‘Shawakish’ (Hammers), their first album together ...

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الأقلام: ذاكرة أخرى لثقافة في العراق

ترى كم تاريخٍاً للثقافة في العراق "وهل العراق بدع من البلدان ليكون له تواريخ ثقافية عديدة!؟" شخصياً لا أدري؛ مادام أن للثقافة تاريخياً شخصياً: تاريخ أفراد بعينهم، كثيرون يعضون على نواجذهم قائلين، لأنفسهم ربما، أن الثقافة شان ذاتي، بول ريكور، مثلاً، يشدد في مدونته الكبرى، أن الذاكرة شان السرد، إنما تتعلق بذات تتكلم وتتذكر وتحكي، لكنه لم يقل مطلقاً: اننا أمام طوفان من التواريخ، لكني أرى، للأسف، ان الثقافة ربما تكون سجلاً ضخماً يشكل، بمجموعه، طوفاناً من التواريخ الشخصية للمثقفين في العراق. أتصور ...

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الفيلسوف طريد المدن الموحشة: عبد الله القصيمي الجزء الثاني

الفيلسوف طريد المدن الموحشة: عبد الله القصيمي (1907-1996) الذي طعن عرب القرن العشرين ف خاصرتهم.  (الجزء الثاني)   [انقر/ي هنا لقراءة الجزء الأول من المقال] القصيمي شاعراً تائهاً وفي الفصل السادس يولي المؤلف إبراهيم عبد الرحمن الإنتاج الشعري الذي قدمه القصيمي، ولم يلتفت إليه بوصفه تجربة مستقلة. وإنما استخدم القصيمي الشعر لتمرير أفكاراً مختلفة، فهو نشر قبل أي كتاب في جريدة الرياض الأسبوعية قصيدة في تمجيد البطل "نفثة مخلص: إلى حضرة صاحب الجلالة عبد العزيز ملك الحجاز ونجد ...

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Profile: Alexandrian Filmmaker Ahmed El Samra

Ahmed El Samra is a filmmaker and video artist, based in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Alexandria, and developed his career as a filmmaker through a series of workshops. Samra produces short fiction films and documentaries, as well as video art works. Several of his films documented zar rituals in Egypt, and he collaborated with others in investigating the life of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in Alexandria. He shoots most of his fiction films on the rooftop of his home/studio, ...

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الفيلسوف طريد المدن الموحشة: عبد الله القصيمي الجزء الأول

الفيلسوف طريد المدن الموحشة: عبد الله القصيمي (1907-1996) الذي طعن عرب القرن العشرين في خاصرتهم.  (الجزء الأول)       لا يحدّق بالمستقبل سوى أهل البصيرة! ولا يَعْمى عن تلك الكوارث إلا من ملك البصر فقط! منذ وقت مبكر تنبّه المفكر عبد الله القصيمي (1907-1996) إلى أمراض القرن العشرين: الاستعمار والديكتاتورية والإرهاب والإيديولوجيا، فقد أشار إلى مخططات الصهيونية والإرهاب الديني والتخلف الحضاري في كتابه "هذي هي الأغلال" (1946)، ونقض الديكتاتورية وحلل ذهنية التفكير العربي ...

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