A special screening of Year of the Beaver, 1985, directed by Steve Sprung, Sylvia Stevens and Dave Fox. This documentary about the strike at the Grunwick photographic processing plant in London, which started in 1976 and lasted for two years, includes interviews with the factory’s workforce of women. Year of the Beaver examines this particular phase in British history, which set the stage for Thatcherism and ensuing neo-liberal policies.
The Serpentine Gallery in London and Townhouse Gallery present new works by artist Susan Hefuna as part of an ongoing exchange between London and Cairo. Produced as part of the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project, Hefuna has created a series of video portraits of the Edgware Road. These works will be screened in the Antikana neighbourhood surrounding Townhouse Gallery in Cairo at the same time as they appear in the Serpentine Gallery Lobby and at the Centre for Possible Studies, home to the Edgware Road Project. Hefuna, whose work frequently moves between worlds, has also created a set of limited edition postcards to be sent between the two cities. The exchange is part of Vice Versa: Exchanges Between London and Cairo, a series of collaborations between the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project and partners at Townhouse Gallery.
Free Cinema School Salons in Cairo and London
London Free Cinema School Salon: Wednesday 1 December, 7-9pm at the Centre for Possible Studies
In London, the Free Cinema School Salon will screen Maha Maamoun’s Domestic Tourism II, 2008. Taking the form of a video collage, the film considers how the Pyramids of Giza have been embedded in the narratives of Egyptian films throughout the country’s cinematic history. As in Domestic Tourism I, 2005, a series of digitally manipulated images of Cairo, Maamoun appropriates touristic representations of Egypt to provide a point of entry for exploring the city on a deeper social, political and psychological level. In this context, the ‘tourism’ of the work’s title refers not only to a means of navigating and discovering a place, but also to a relationship to one’s environment that is both intimate and distant.
Maha Maamoun lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Working principally in film and photography, Maamoun often uses generic visual representations of Cairo to explore how these intersect with, and are negotiated by, personal experiences. She is one of the founding members of CIC – the Contemporary Image Collective- a space for contemporary art and culture in Cairo. Maamoun’s work has been shown in biennials and exhibitions including: Homeworks 5, Beirut, 2010; Past of the Coming Days, Sharjah Biennial 9, 2009; PhotoCairo 4, CIC, 2008; Global Cities, Tate Modern, 2007, C on Cities, 10th Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2006; Snap Judgments, ICP, 2006; DAK’ART 6, 2004; 5th Biennale of African Photography, Bamako, 2003. In 2005, she was co-curator of PhotoCairo3, an international visual arts festival in Cairo, and in 2007 an assistant curator for Meeting Points 5, an international multidisciplinary contemporary arts festival. She recently had a residency at Apexart, New York City.
Cairo Free Cinema School Salon: Wednesday 1 December, 7-9pm @ Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo 10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo
In Cairo, local actor Khalid Abdalla and London-based artists Brad Butler and Karen Mirza will show Free Cinema School, 2009, a 50-minute film involving over 60 participants, which the artists made during their residency at the Centre for Possible Studies in Summer 2009. Taking as its subject the local environment of the Edgware Road, the film has been described as ‘one of the most thrilling films to be created in Britain this year’ (Vertigo Magazine, 2009). This Salon will provide the opportunity to ask questions that reflect not only on the work’s achievements but also on its limitations, and create a forum for debate on the issues affecting future proposals for projects with local specificity, in terms of both filmmaking and of ‘educational’ practices. Read the rest of this entry »