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The Good, the Bad and the Crimson Shoe

The Good, the Bad and the Crimson Shoe is the first major show for artists Mohamed El Maghraby and Ahmed Tawfig. The show is curated by Medrar for Contemporary Art and is based on a selection from two new series the artists have been working on. Maghraby's study of architecture, as well as the aesthetics of the Internet, greatly influences his work, while Tawfig presents a group of digital prints inspired by his childhood memories. Mohamed El Maghraby (b. 1985) graduated from the Architecture Department of the High Institute of Technology in 2007. Since 2012, he has used architecture as a visual and philosophical reference in his artwork. He experiments with drawing, ...

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Hussein Sherbini: Electro Chaabi

“Electro Chaabi” is Hussein Sherbini's debut album. He released it in May 2015 at Vent, a music venue in Cairo. The album title is no more than a "publicity stunt," as Sherbini explains in this interview with Cairo-based critic Rami Abadir. The sound is very different from the increasingly popular genre, but also from Sherbini's earlier work. In this interview, Sherbini discusses how he experiments and "chases" different sound ideas to build his music tracks. From announcements at Cairo's main train station to a recording of a message by a customer service agent at a telecom company, the sounds in “Electro Chaabi” are unique and intriguing. Sherbini ...

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Ottomanism with a Greek Face: An Interview with Vangelis Kechriotis

[Image via Ottoman History Podcast.]

“Ottomanism with a Greek Face”: Vangelis Kechriotis coined this term in one of his recent articles to describe a particular cultural and political phenomenon of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, namely a vision of a future for Greek Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman Empire embraced by a number of Greek intellectuals and politicians. In defiance of both Greek and Turkish nationalisms, this ideology developed an alternative understanding of Greek identity, one that combined cultural Hellenism with political loyalty to the Ottoman state. Not surprisingly, among chief ideologues of this vision were Karamanlis, Christians from the region of Cappadocia who ...

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Studio Visit: Hany Rashed's 'Bulldozer'

Late last year, we visited Cairo-based artist Hany Rashed in his studio in Al-Haram neighborhood. He was still developing his new project, titled "Bulldozer" and allowed us to watch him work on one of the paintings in the series. "Bulldozer" as Rashed explains is a development to his two most recent exhibitions "Asa7by" and "Toys", but it's also different in how he started drawing more freehand. The last few paintings in the series, which he worked on after returning from the 2015 Bologna Art Fair follow a different approach and are based on photography. Most of the paintings made on plastic sheets were exhibited at Mashrabia ...

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A Shift in Turkey's Foreign Policy? An Interview with Osman Shahin

[Massive influx of Syrian Kurdish refugees into Turkey. Photo by European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr]

Last week, Turkey joined the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), after the group carried out a suicide bombing in the town of Suruç close to the Syrian border, killing thirty-two young socialist activists and students, and injuring many more. Following that horrific tragedy, the Turkish government came under pressure to stop the free movement of ISIS fighters and operatives over the Syrian border. Despite the bombing of a few ISIS targets, most of Turkey’s firepower has been directed toward the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). According to Al-Monitor, “The attack on IS was a single sortie against limited targets and closer to the Turkish ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Vaez on The Iranian Nuclear Agreement

[On 14 July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif jointly announced the conclusion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States), Germany and the European Union (EU). Later that same day the presidents of Iran and the US, Hassan Rouhani and Barrack Obama, gave televised addresses hailing the agreement that crowned almost two years of intensive negotiations, primarily in Austria, Oman and Switzerland. As ...

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Alif: Aynama-Rtama

[Courtesy of Alif]

Alif, a band of five musicians at the forefront of the Arab underground music scene, is launching its debut album Aynama-Rtama (Wherever It Falls) on the 4 September 2015. Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq), Bashar Farran (Bass), Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics), and Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion). Recorded in Beirut and Cairo in 2014, the album reflects a long process of experimentation that underwent different stages over the past three years. It uses contemporary Arab poetry by late Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944–2007) and renowned late ...

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Pixelated Intifada: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Amer Shomali

[Image via Amer Shomali]

This interview was conducted in Ramallah, Palestine on 16 June 2015 following the local and international release of Amer Shomali’s film, The Wanted 18, which opens in US theaters on 19 June 2015. Isis Nusair (IN): Where did the idea of the film come from? Amer Shomali (AS): I grew up in the Yarmouk [Refugee] Camp in Syria. During the first intifada (in 1987), my parents would tell me stories about Palestine. As a kid, they could not tell me all that was happening. I remember one story about an uncle who was arrested by the Israeli authorities after he was hiding in a palm tree! These stories about Palestine and the nature of the people stayed with me. I was obsessed ...

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Between 'Reality' and Memory: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Michel Khleifi

[Director Michel Khleifi working on set with one of the child actors]

Isis Nusair (IN): How did you start making movies? Michel Khleifi (MK): It happened by chance. There was nothing in our life in Nazareth that would have prepared me to be a filmmaker. The films we saw, like all the children our age in the 1960s, were popular and commercial. This was our only chance to breath in the “Nazarene ghetto.” Closure was imposed on us by the Israeli occupation through its cruel military rule that banned us from leaving Nazareth without permits. The world used to come to us through these films and some leftist newspapers and magazines. There was one screening hall for thirty thousand people in my small town. They used to also screen films at the ...

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Nidaa Tounès et Ennahda, l’alliance entre « deux forces d’ancien régime » en Tunisie. Retour sur l'histoire de la révolution avec Aziz Krichen

[Rached Ghannoushi et Beji Kaid Essebsi. Image de espacemanager.com]

Aziz Krichen est une figure historique de la gauche tunisienne. Son opposition frontale aux régimes de Habib Bourguiba et de Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali le conduit en prison puis à l’exil. Ministre conseiller du président Moncef Marzouki depuis janvier 2012, il a démissionné de ses fonctions en mai 2014 pour ne pas avoir à cautionner une stratégie consistant à attiser les clivages identitaires du pays pour mobiliser l’électorat islamiste en prévision de l’élection présidentielle. Il répond ici à Khadija Mohsen-Finan qui l’interroge sur l’état actuel et le devenir de la classe politique tunisienne. Khadija Mohsen-Finan. — Selon vos propos, après 2011, la ...

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Naema’s Office is Bleeding

Medrar for Contemporary Art started its new workshop program this year with a painting and collage workshop led by Cairo-based artist Hany Rashed. The workshop aimed to introduce participants to different practices and techniques in painting and collage and to train them in conceptualizing artworks, inspired by media and the internet. Guest artists Huda Lutfi, Mohammed Taman, Shady El Noshokaty, Mohamed Abla and Ahmed Sabry were also invited to share their personal and professional experience, as well as add to the historical and artistic content of the workshop. A selection of the workshop's output was exhibited at Medrar for three days under the title "Naema's ...

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This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time

Curators Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller take the cue for their latest exhibition 'This is the time. This is the record of the time" from Laurie Anderson's 1982 song "From the air" where she describes the duration between becoming conscious that the plane will crash and its actual impact - a moment when time and space collapse. It represents the ultimate loss of control, over time or anything else for that matter. The curators argue that this idea and feeling resonate with our time, which is characterized by perpetual crises, be it economical, political, social, ecological or personal, as well as the continuous overload of information and updates. ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Interview by France24 on Gaza Disengagement and Its Aftermath

In this interview with France 24 television, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani explores the background and impact of Israel's 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Rabbani notes that Israel's motivations for disengagement were to deepen the fragmentation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and further isolate the Gaza Strip, while continuing its policies of colonial expansion in the West Bank. The interview view was conducted on 15 August 2015.   Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin ...

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Quick Thoughts: Hugh Lovatt on Calls for European Union “Differentiation” in Relations with Israel

[On 22 July 2015 the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) issued “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements”, a report that called upon the European Union (EU) to take a more robust approach to Israel and foreign institutions implicated in the occupation and specifically Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied Palestinian territories. Jadaliyya asked Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine Project Coordinator at ECFR, to explain the logic behind the report and particularly its calls for ...

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Al Jazeera America Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat About Arson-Murder of Baby Ali Saad Dawabshe

At roughly 4 AM on Friday 31 July 2015, Israeli settlers burned to death eighteen-month old Palestinian baby boy Ali Saad Dawabsheh by setting fire to his family's home while they slept. The family rushed out of their burning home and saved their 4-year old son who was suffocating from smoke inhalation. This is not an outlier in the West Bank or throughout Israel, Palestinians are dehumanized as a matter of instituionalized racism.This attack is among the 11,000 settler attacks against Palestinian bodies ...

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IMEU Interview: The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Question of Palestine

[In the following online interview conducted by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani, Palestinian analyst Diana Buttu, and syndicated columnist Rami Khouri respond to questions about the implications of the Iran nuclear agreement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While welcoming the agreement, they see little prospect of it having a positive impact on broader regional questions] Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU): From what we know about ...

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Muslims in Quebec, Belonging to an Intercultural Society: An Interview with Charles Taylor

Hicham Tiflati (HT): In my research on identity formation and the sense of belonging of young Muslims in Quebec, I have been finding that most of my participants deny their Quebecness and insist on being only Canadians. However, some of them cannot be anything else but Québécois because of the visible Quebecness in their character. Moreover, most of them are caught between Quebecness and Canadianness. Whether it is true or not, they believe that multicultural English Canada is more compatible with their ...

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Iran’s Nuclear Deal and the Day After: An Interview with Kamran Matin

For more than a week, diplomats from Iran and six world powers have gathered in Vienna’s Coburg Palace to finalize a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program.   The officials from Iran and the US have told reporters  “we are making good progress on almost all of the issues..But there are a few issues which … remain to be resolved” as a result, the self imposed deadline of June 30th is now extend to Friday July 10th. This week, we spend the hour with Kamran Matin, Assistant Professor in ...

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From Rags to Riches: On Public Art in Cairo

From rags to riches is a year-long project initiated by the Cairo-based foundation Baad el Bahr and curated by Mashrabia Gallery to produce a number of art installations and projects made from recycled materials for pubic spaces across the city. The first phase of the project was a four-day workshop in March, led by Dutch public space designer Marjet Wessels Boer and Italian material processing artist Eugenia Morpurgo. The workshop offered training for artists to increase their skills in the use of ...

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A Walk Through 'Ahmed's Revenge and Other Untold Stories'

Ahmed’s Revenge and Other Untold Stories is Mohamed Abdelkarim’s first solo exhibition. It brings together a selection of videos, installations, books, digital images, sculptures, found materials and objects he produced from 2010 to 2015. On the opening night, Abdelkarim presented Ahmed's Revenge, a performance commissioned by AUC-LAB, and is part of the series Possibilities of Telling a Story.  In his work, Abdelkarim probes the narrative patterns of myth, history and ideology, by ...

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Chocolate Bar of the Future

Chocolate bar of the future is Hend Samir's first solo show. It is organized and hosted by Medrar for Contemporary Art as one of the awards for its annual arts competition titled Roznama. The exhibition takes a critical view of modern consumerism, individuals’ shopping habits and the role of advertising in manipulating consumer behavior. Chocolate Bar of the Future emulates the visual and sentimental experiences of shopping, with a collection of paintings based on manipulation of photos and magazine ...

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Uriel Barthelemi's Souls' Landscapes

Souls' Landscapes is a three-part performance produced by Uriel Barthelemi in collaboration with Entissar Al Hamdany, Joel Lokossou, Rigo 23, and Fabrice Taraud. It is loosely inspired by Frantz Fanon's 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth and incorporates music, dance, shadow, and text, developed using a personal and improvisational approach by the artists involved in the project. The artists performed parts I and II of the triptych during the opening week of Sharjah Biennial 12. They performed Souls’ ...

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Then and Now: LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on State Institutions in Lebanon

In the following interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of state institutions in early independence Lebanon, and some of the legacies they left behind. The interview was conducted over email, and first published on the LCPS website. Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS): There have been discussions over the last few years concerning the Lebanese state, or lack thereof, in terms of public policy, public ...

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Olivier Roy on Laicite as Ideology, the Myth of 'National Identity' and Racism in the French Republic

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Professor Olivier Roy, Head of the Mediterranean Program at the European University Institute discusses the development of the concept of laicite in France, from its emergence as a tool for the management of diversity, to its rebranding as an ideology of exclusion. In this interview, he questions the notion of national identity as a politicized concept and identifies a profound crisis of identity at its root. He also outlines the double-bind faced by French Muslims, ...

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About Interviews
Jadaliyya’s Interview Page is a hub for all interviews published on Jadaliyya, including those in print, audio, and video formats. It features three categories of interviews: interviews conducted for Jadaliyya publication; interviews featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editors; interviews published elsewhere but considered important enough to be republished on Jadaliyya.

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