Cairography 2 Emergency Edition


Launched in January 2014, Cairography is a publication series that seeks to enhance the discursive exchange on performance practices in the Arabic speaking region and the Western worlds, crossing language barriers and expanding on what these geopolitics and territories stand for and represent.

With the second edition of Cairography, Sarma and HaRaKa continue their collaboration, ten years into post-revolutionary Egypt. This edition comes after a year of losses, between a deadly pandemic and a series of political catastrophes. The publication aims at provoking new dialogues through theoretical texts, interviews and artistic works between the Arabic speaking region and western practitioners. Through translation, republishing, anthology building and commissioning new texts, Cairography is trying to fill in the gaps in current performance discourses that continue to alienate viewpoints of Arab theorists and artists. This edition dedicates a substantial space to document and investigate chronicles of Beirut before and after the blast of August 2020, through the words of Nancy Naous, Omar Thawabeh, Tom Engels and Nour Ezzedine. The edition will also discuss body politics in relation to notions of state and of honor, as we see in the work of Abdullah Al Bayyari, Mona Gamil and Mary Bye-Bye. Ismail Fayed creates a complex lens through an Islamic-Anthropocene framework of reference to look at environmental catastrophe and long-lasting colonial impacts. Adham Hafez and Mohamad Khalil Harb take us on a journey through the contemporary performance scene in the Arab diaspora post-2011, as well as within the Arab region itself with artists carving out spaces for radical ideas.

Through this collection of texts, Cairography hopes to test how theoretical reflections and artistic writing can respond to crisis and emergency within a temporality of eventness.

The collection was edited by Adham Hafez, Ismail Fayed and Myriam Van Imschoot, copyedited by Adam Kucharski and media-disseminated by Cindy Sibilisky in both English and Arabic.

Cairography was initiated by HaRaKa and developed in collaboration with and through the support of Sarma. This edition was made possible with the support of Moussem Nomadic Arts Center. The Cairography Publication Series will continue as a central mission of Cairography Collective during a residency in Kunsthal Ghent in 2021, where the core members of the collective are researching aesthetic consensus.

(c) all rights are reserved to the Egyptian Ministry of Environment


Cairography #2: Editor's Introduction (English)

We Are All Going to Die? (English - Arabic)
Egyptian writer Ismail Fayed reflects on the condition of the post-colonial state, ecological disaster, pandemics and what it means to live in a country where informality, authoritarianism and continued struggle to survive shape the very possibilities of the future.

TikTok Triptych (English - Arabic)
For Cairography's second edition, Mona Gamil created a triptych to celebrate the identities of three women (Haneen Hossam, Sherry Hanem, and Sherry’s daughter “Zomoroda”) who, in 2020, were arrested in Egypt for “inciting debauchery” by performing on TikTok. Their offences included dancing for joy, following harmless TikTok trends, and sharing vlogs of their daily life. As a result of their arrest, their images have been subject to a circus of media manipulation to paint these women as agents of indecency. With this triptych, Gamil attempts to reframe these women in a positive light: as icons in the internet age.

Matchsticks (English)
Mary Bye-bye writes on performance, feminism, dance and sexuality in the Arab World. The writer was named after the sexually ambiguous Egyptian actress Mary Bye-Bye, known for her anticolonial position in Egypt’s early 20th century cabaret and cinema years. This text, Matchsticks, attempts to position the recent policing of female and queer bodies of TikTok performers in Egypt within a context of political sexual violence and global capitalism.

Body of the State (English - Arabic)
Abdullah Al Bayyari writer, cultural anthropologist, researcher and medical practitioner dissects the many ways the state controls, delimits the possibilities through which our bodies come to be constituted and understood, using a vast reservoir of surveillance, violence and the power of life and death.

Orange Cloud (English - Arabic)
Lebanese writer and musician Nour Ezzedine reflects on the history of Beirut as a city plagued by constant series of wars and destruction, as three different generations all carry the trauma of conflict and how they still attempt to survive in spite of and in the city.

You Need to Know (English - Arabic)
Jordanian born, Beirut based writer and researcher Omar Thawabeh shares his visceral memories of the Beirut explosion of August 2020, and memories of earlier hopes during the Lebanese revolution of 2019.

Interview with Nancy Naous (English - Arabic)
Paris based Lebanese choreographer speaks about the Lebanese revolution of 2019, the Beirut blast of 2020, and her life and artistic practice in the diaspora.

Letter to Coreia (English - Arabic)
In this letter, curator and writer Tom Engels reflects on his experience being in Beirut and attending the Home Works Forum at Ashkal Alwan, while being mired in the long, protracted history of a city shaped mainly by war and conflict but also global and regional politics.

Subversive Sinbads (English)
Lebanese writer and anthropologist Mohamad Khalil Harb analyses the music of Arab rappers Shabjedeed and Al Nather as they challenge perceptions of Arab identity, in general, and Palestinian identity specifically in face of continued occupation and continued attempts at silencing and erasing the creative force of the Palestinian people, but also in trying to create a unique musical style and form.

On Queerness and the Jargon of Authenticity (English)
Egyptian writer Ismail Fayed eulogizes the death of late Egyptian activist Sara Hegazi and tries to critique the post-colonial discourses that have undermined the lives and struggles of Arab LGBT+ people, even as the LGBT+ people in the region face the brutal violence of the state all alone.

Performing Dissent (English)
Egyptian dancer, director and theoretician Adham Hafez revisits the experience of the revolution by looking at the works of several Arab artists and how these different works and methods have tried to open up new possibilities, not just artistically but also politically to go beyond the resurging authoritarianism, global indifference and complicity to the tragedies of the Arab world, and petty identitarian politics.

Results 1-19 of 19, page 1 of 1

Author Title Publication Year
Adham Hafez, Nancy Naous Interview with Nancy Naous Sarma 2021
Omar Thawabeh You Need to Know Ma3azef 2020
Adham Hafez Performing Dissent Sarma 2021
Ismail Fayed On Queerness and the Jargon of Authenticity MadaMasr 2020
Mohamad Khalil Harb Subversive Sinbads Jadaliyya 2019
Tom Engels خطاب الى كوريا / Letter to Coreia Coreia 2020
Tom Engels Letter to Coreia Coreia 2020
Adham Hafez, Nancy Naous مقابلة مع نانسي نعوس / Interview with Nancy Naous Sarma 2021
Omar Thawabeh لازم تعرفي / You Need to Know Ma3azef 2020
Nour Ezzedine سحابة برتقالیة / Orange Cloud Ma3azef 2020
Abduallah Al Bayyari هل للدولة جسد؟ / Body of the State Al Arabi Al Gadid 2020
Mary Bye-Bye Matchsticks Sarma 2021
Abduallah Al Bayyari Body of the State Al Arabi Al Gadid 2020
Nour Ezzedine Orange Cloud Ma3azef 2020
Mona Gamil ثلاثیة التیكتوك / TikTok Triptych Sarma 2021
Mona Gamil TikTok Triptych Sarma 2021
Ismail Fayed هنموت كلنا- اسماعيل فايد / We Are All Going to Die? Medina Portal 2020
Ismail Fayed We Are All Going to Die? Medina Portal 2020
Editorial Sarma 2020

Results 1-19 of 19, page 1 of 1