Archives for the month of: September, 2011

 

‘I Love Egypt’, Speak out!
A two-day Temporary Learning Camp
Friday 30 September – Saturday 1 October

10am-6pm daily

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London

With Susan Hefuna and Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, Tammy Arjona-Wheeler, Gill Clarke, Mina Noshy, Westminster Academy

The Serpentine Gallery presents a free two-day public event of debate and exchange at this historic Londonlocation. The Learning Camp brings people together to share ideas about self expression and protest from two cities,London andCairo, which have seen great changes in recent months.

The Camp, led by internationally acclaimed artist Susan Hefuna is open to everyone and includes programmed and spontaneous seminars, sound and video installations, dance performances, live talks and debates relating to personal experiences fromTahrir Square to the recent demonstrations inLondon. People of all ages are invited to exchange ideas about political speech in formats that challenge traditional relationships between teachers and students: those who speak and those who listen.

The activities will be hosted in seven specially commissioned tents, designed by Hefuna, and made by traditional tentmakers inEgypt. They are inscribed with messages of hope, experiences from the recent revolution and personal statements from the people ofCairo.

Since 2009 Hefuna has facilitated exchanges betweenLondonandCairoas part of the Serpentine Gallery’s Edgware Road Project. For the Learning camp she will be joined by London-based designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, choreographer Gill Clarke, and staff and students fromWestminsterAcademy, who have collaborated over the past year. Guests, including Mina Noshy, from SAWA workshops and William Wells, Director of Townhouse Gallery, (Cairo), will relay project participants’ first hand experiences of the events leading to the departure of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

Visitors will participate in workshops facilitated by students atWestminsterAcademywho collaborated with designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad to create experiences that question the stereotyping of young people inLondon. London-based designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad and students atWestminsterAcademySchoolhave for the last year been attending ‘the Public Space Seminar, a weekly collaborative investigation held at the Edgware Road Project’s base, the Centre for Possible Studies. Developed as an experiment in how vocational education could be re-tooled as a training in critical thought and action, during the Public Space Seminar students, artists and curators developed strategies for engaging others in discussions related to gentrification, the vilification of youth and relations of power in the school, all in relation to the Edgware Road neighbourhood. These activities will be re-staged throughout the day under the title ‘Speak Out’, specifically addressing the event’s location at Speaker’s Corner, a historical place for public meetings and demonstrations inLondon.

Dance performances choreographed by Gill Clarke, Tammy Arjona Wheeler with teachers and students from Westminster Academy explore the dynamic between the group and the individual in costumes designed for each student by Hefuna and will take place in the Park throughout the day.

Other events include:

– Local youth collective Freqout! will run a media tent engaging people in video-based activities

– Berlin-based designers Ben Wittner and Sascha Thoma of eps51 will messages on banners and posters

– Open Assembly will allow any individual or group to propose a workshop or discussion topic

– Greetings fromCairo, a Raffle with gifts fromEgypt

This event is dedicated by the artist to the Egyptian people and connects recent events inEgyptto Speakers’ Corner, a historical place for public meetings and demonstrations inLondon. Produced in collaboration with the Townhouse Gallery inCairoandWestminsterAcademy.

See below for a detailed schedule of workshops and events

 

ONGOING WORKSHOPS

Daily at the Learning Camp from 10-6pm

 

‘I Love Egypt!’

A tent installation with sound and video works recorded during the SAWA workshops at the Townhouse Gallery,Cairothat ran in May 2011 with artistSusan Hefuna.   Participants in the SAWA workshop share stories and experiences of the 18 days inTahrir Squareleading up to the fall of Mubarak and what has followed.  Mina Noshy of the Townhouse Gallery will take students on a tour of the tents and describe the workshops and experiences ofCaironow and then. 

 

What’s your wish?

Write your wishes for the future inLondonandCairowith artistSusan Hefunaand facilitator Polly Brannan.  Followed by aCairo StreetRaffle!

 

Movement for Movements

A dance and movement workshop facilitated by students fromWestminsterAcademyand choreographer Gill Clarke explores collectivity through the body.

 

Pixel Pattern Mosaic  

Poster making with fonts in English and Arabic by eps51, Berlin-based graphic designers who made the fonts featured on the event invitation. They will work with Abake, a London-based design group. ‘Two oppositional scripts confront each other in the age of digital type-design. Working with Arabic and Roman means working with two different languages, two different scripts with different visual characteristics and two opposing writing directions’

 

Questioning Questions

Students fromWestminsterAcademyon work experience in 2010 collaborated with designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad made a collective called Public Ten. They will run activities derived from their research into the politics of the local area exploring the power of questioning and why and by whom questions are asked in these processes.

 

Face Value

Students fromWestminsterAcademyon work experience in 2010 collaborated with designer Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad to make a collective called One Diverse Vision. Together they will facilitate a portrait.

 

TIMED EVENTS

All take place in the Open Assembly area

Friday    
Gifts fromEgypt, Raffle Win gifts from Egypt, produced after January 25 2011 (see What’s your wish?) Several Times Daily
Dance Performances Dance performances choreographed by Gill Clarke with teachers and students from Westminster Academy explore the dynamic between the group and the individual in costumes designed for each student by Hefuna and will take place throughout the day Several times daily
Mohammed Yahya Spoken word artist and youth worker, Mohammed Yahya discusses the recent riots inLondon. 12 pm
Direct Speech Acts Arabic- English Language Exchange,  no.w.here and Karem Ibrahim Translate experiences, texts, songs and images related to political protest inEnglandand the Arabic-speaking world in this taster session of our free weekly Arabic – English Language Exchange led by no.w.here and Karem Ibrahim 4.30pm-6pm
Art Assassins, SouthLondonGallery The Art Assassins is a peer-led, young people’s forum who work together to organise projects at the South London Gallery. Meeting every Thursday from 5-7pm, the Art Assassins create a programme of engaging events for young people and a wider audience that often uses their commitment to providing a platform for young people as a departure point. For Speak Out, the Art Assassins present their latest project  – an alternative newsletter developed in response toLondon’s riots. Still in its editing stage, the Art Assassins invite you to an informal reading from their newsletter.  5pm-6pm
Saturday    
Gifts fromEgypt, Raffle Win gifts from Egypt, produced after January 25 2011 (see What’s your wish?) Several Times Daily
Dance Performance Dance performances choreographed by Gill Clarke with teachers and students from Westminster Academy explore the dynamic between the group and the individual in costumes designed for each student by Hefuna and will take place in the Park throughout the day. Several times daily
Rose Issa “The arab spring before the spring”. London-based gallerist and long time curator of works by artists from the Middle East reflects on the many histories that led to the events inEgyptthis year. 1pm
Eps51 on Bilingual Graphic Design Two oppositional scripts confront each other in the age of digital type-design. Working with Arabic and Roman script means working with two different languages, two different scripts with different visual characteristics and two opposing writing directions.

 

2pm
United Egyptians On the eve of the 25 January Revolution, Egyptians living in theUKformed United Egyptians.  Initially, their mandate is to bring together Egyptians living in theUKand promote their involvement in the Egyptian political scene, to show solidarity and support with the process of reform and democratisation taking place inEgyptand to give the revolution a voice in theUK.  Founding members speak about their activities so far and plans for the future. 3 pm
Direct Speech Acts Arabic- English Language Exchange,  no.w.here and Karem Ibrahim Translate experiences, texts, songs and images related to political protest inEnglandand the Arabic-speaking world in this taster session of our free weekly Arabic – English Language Exchange led by no.w.here and Karem Ibrahim 4.30pm-6pm
Rhymes of Revolution Revolution words hosted by Aadam and including poets Kapwon and Sanasiino from the People’s Army, Catherine Brogan and friends. Followed by a workshop for everyone!

 

4.30pm-6pm

 

 

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Recent Coverage of the Bidoun Library

E-flux, July 2011 http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/9875

Arabnews.com 24/8/2011 http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/art_culture/article493129.ece

At the Serpentine, London Review of Books, 8/9/2011  http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/09/08/yasmine-el-rashidi/at-the-serpentine/

Turning the Pages of History, CNN, 12/9/2011  http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/09/12/durgahee-bidoun-middle-east-books.cnn?iref=allsearch

Last July, we were treated to an amazing performance from Sadat who flew straight from Madinet El-Salam, Cairo to fill this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, the hortus conclusus (a contemplative room, a garden within a garden) with the impossible-not-to dance-to Egyptian Sha3by music, with DJ Funkyeast…

 For those who missed it, see here: http://vimeo.com/28656589

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Special thanks goes to the amazing Sadat, DJ Funkyeast (See Eastern Tempatations at Darbucka Club, London), Noov El Senary, Yasmine El Rashidi and all the Bidoun Team!

All photos (c) Polly Bradden