My Nineties is an art project addressing Egypt`s mediascape during the 1990s by tapping into people`s collective memory. Egyptian artist Mohamed Allam collected more than 4,000 VHS tapes from different scrap stores, random individuals, and sellers in Cairo`s Friday market. He was then able to locate approximately 200 tapes with different recordings of TV materials from the 1990s. The existence of this material is not a result of meticulous digital lab work but a product of a popular passion for recording the TV programs and soap operas that flooded Egyptians` TV screens in the 1990s. The owners of these collections of recordings were not concerned with copyrighting their materials, nor did they expect that it would grow into an open archive of Egyptian collective memory.
My Nineties includes an exhibition of video installations that highlight aspects of the archive (some screened raw and others remixed using the same analogue techniques used in the 1990s), as well as a live audiovisual performance, which took place on the opening night using the found footage as a source material and was performed by Allam with musician Rami Abadir. It also includes a documentary by Emad Maher featuring the icons of the 1990s media industry and an art book by journalist Hassan al-Helougy, which highlights newspaper and magazine articles, as well as scholarly texts discussing the role of television in this decade.
[This video is produced by Medrar TV and is featured as part of a partnership with Jadaliyya Culture.]