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Latest in Culture


From Bamako to Cape Town at Paris Photo fair

Twenty years ago, a retired Malian portrait photographer called Seydou Keita sat at home in Bamako, quietly tinkering with his motorbike, when a Paris art dealer came knocking on his door. Today, a decade after his death, Keita is perhaps Africa’s most revered photographer, and his stylish studio snaps are a highlight of this year’s …

DNE

Colloquial Egyptian culture at the turn of the century

In the wave of recent photography books from AUC press about the revolution, the automatic tendency is to celebrate the actions of Egyptians usually referred to as “everyday” or “ordinary” Egyptians, and, similarly, “the Egyptian street.” Books of writing about the revolution will take longer, as January is not really history yet, and one can …

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Tutankhamun center stage at Frankfurt’s ‘Festival of Egyptian Culture’

A sensational discovery 89 years ago by archaeologist Howard Carter turned the unknown pharaoh Tutankhamun into an international superstar. For years, Tutankhamun, his treasures and his tomb have been touring the globe with an ambassador-like presence in each city he visits. Starting on Nov. 19 and running through April 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany, Tutankhamun takes …

DNE

European Film Panorama returns with new challenges and films

Emerging 10 months after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, and in the midst of Egypt’s most significant parliamentary elections — the Panorama of European Film is coming back to Cairo against all odds. Misr International Films is gearing for the fourth edition of its annual European film fest, held from Nov. 23-29, at Galaxy …

DNE

Natural history of New France published 335 years on

An illustrated book describing Canada’s vast wilds, masked medicine men and a missionary’s taming of bears at the onset of European colonization will hit bookstores on Saturday — three centuries after it was written. The manuscript titled "The Natural History of the New World" and a separate codex of drawings, were penned around 1675 by …

DNE

Leonardo DiCaprio becomes J. Edgar Hoover on film

The Leonardo DiCaprio sitting inside an empty soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot on a sunny November afternoon looks very little like J. Edgar Hoover — his title role in Clint Eastwood’s new biopic of the longtime FBI director. On this day, DiCaprio looks relaxed and comfortable, lean and handsome. In "J. Edgar," he’s anything …

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Renowned Syrian theater actors flee to Egypt

BEIRUT: Two Syrian theater actors known for their plays mocking authority headed to Egypt on Thursday, fleeing possible arrest in their country but vowing to pursue their pro-democracy struggle. Mohamed and Ahmed Malas, 29-year-old twin brothers, left to Cairo from Beirut, where they had been living in hiding for the past month. The two brothers …

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9 writers, 6 actors, 1 huge topic: gay marriage

By Mark Kennedy / AP It sounded like an impossible task: Write a play about gay marriage that can only have a few characters. Oh, and make it about 10 minutes long. Such was the mission for nine playwrights that included Neil LaBute, Paul Rudnick, Doug Wright and Moises Kaufman. They had been asked to write …

DNE

Misr International Films forays into independent cinema

If you have never stepped into the world of the late great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, it is time you discover what you have been missing. Directing over 40 films and documentaries in his lifetime, Chahine left behind a staggering body of work and a legacy that continues to inspire the development of Egyptian cinema …

DNE

Egypt’s ‘Freedom Story’ in the making

Revolutions have a way of sticking with you – emotions run high, change is imminent and the sense of possibility is euphoric. The images of Egypt’s January uprising were striking, forever engraining the momentous events in the memories of those who witnessed them and captivating the world’s attention for weeks. “Egyptian Freedom Story: 25th of …

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A psychedelic evening with Yacoub Abu Ghosh

By Maurice Chammah Last Sunday the Jordanian jazz bassist Yacoub Abu Ghosh led his band through a set at the Cairo Jazz Club, a seemingly required stop on any local tour. Despite the holiday, the dark, smoky room had nearly reached capacity when the band, which includes two drummers, and a second bassist, took the stage. …

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Dedication to the hip hop cause

By Lily Grimes Earning something you desire increases its value, and so it was with Voice of the Streets, a free event showcasing rappers from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. A motley crew of about 80 people huddled outside the gates to the Gezira Youth Center in Zamalek last Friday waiting to be let …

DNE

Arab teens rap out angry politics in Nazareth

Mai and Amane, Arab Israeli teenagers living in Nazareth, are happy to leave talk about boys and make-up to their peers. They have a political message and they’re telling it through rap music. The girls, only 15 and 16, make up the duo "Damar" — Arabic for "destruction" — whose mission is to expose what …

DNE

Felting transforms raw material into work of art

Seven years ago, Jenne Giles was a San Francisco painter and sculptor who didn’t know felting existed. Now she works almost exclusively in the medium, stretching the possibilities of felt in fashion. There’s a soft-sculpture aspect to wet felting that is attractive to Giles, who sells her ruffled scarves in museum gift shops and online …

DNE

Biology teacher wins France’s top literary prize

High-school biology teacher Alexis Jenni on Wednesday won France’s top literary award, the Goncourt Prize, for his first novel, "L’art francais de la guerre" (The French Art of War). The prize was announced by the Goncourt panel of literary bigwigs at the chic Drouant restaurant in Paris. The adventure story, a reflection on the heritage …

DNE

Yemen protest singers whip up revolutionary zeal

SANAA: By nightfall, thousands of anti-government protesters in a scrappy tent city in Yemen’s capital Sanaa catch their breath and begin to cheer musicians clambering onto a rickety stage. "Let’s give a round of applause for the big hit, "Mother of the Martyr, Bride of Blood", their host shouts. Sometimes jubilant, sometimes mournful, protest songs …

DNE

A mixed showcase for young Egyptian artists at Tache

Tache Art Gallery in Designopolis is currently hosting an exhibition titled “Pulse,” featuring the works of 47 emerging artists. The show sounds like an extraordinary feat, as putting an exhibit with as many young artists can prove to be quite the production. The exhibition presents work encompassing a myriad of styles, approaches and mediums. Sadly, …

DNE

The loneliness of Gulf cinema

“Only 10 years go, the whole Gulf region lived in a total cinematic drought,” writes Masoud Amralla Al-Ali, artistic director of the Dubai International Film Festival and curator of a series of Gulf-based films at Arab Shorts 2011 in his program note. “The cinematic image that others had of us was always either stupid Bedouins …

DNE

Picasso takes lead in big New York art sales

Christie’s and Sotheby’s hold their big autumn art sales in New York starting this week, with both houses looking to Pablo Picasso to excite a robust market. The prominence of important works by Picasso, Matisse and other modern masters in the impressionist and modern art sales at Christie’s on Tuesday and Sotheby’s on Wednesday reflects …

DNE

Algerian film wins top award at Qatar festival

Qatar’s annual film festival gave its top award to filmmaker Merzak Allouache’s production of "Normal," a movie that follows disillusioned Algerian youth in the wake of the "Arab Spring" revolutions. The award, which carries a bonus of $100,000, was announced at the third annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival awards ceremony this week, alongside seven other …

DNE

Filmmakers explore childhood at Goethe Short Film Fest

In the Arab world, youth are a constant hot topic in political and economic policies and discussion. As the world population officially reaches 7 billion this week, children make up the vast majority and are widely celebrated as “the future.” But in this context, the experience of actually being a child is secondary. Not so …

DNE

New year, same Egypt at Arab Shorts 2011

When the Arab Shorts fest first opened in December 2009 at the Goethe Institute in Egypt, it filled a void, Goethe director Gunther Hasenkamp told Daily News Egypt at the opening of Arab Shorts 2011 on Thursday. After much ado, Goethe had decided that in the absence of another venue, it was an imperative for …

DNE

Islam’s treasures back on display at New York’s Met

Masterworks of Islamic art will once again be on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, which next week reopens an exhaustive installation following an eight-year renovation. New York’s biggest and most comprehensive art museum unveils on November 1 its "New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South …

DNE

A disappointing turn for Egyptian films at Abu Dhabi Film Fest

Egyptian film is a staple attraction in the regional fest circuit. No Arab fest can do without one or more Egyptian features, for obvious reasons. Egyptian films remain the most prominent and most popular industry in the Middle East. Egyptian film stars are always guaranteed to bring glitz and glamour to any Arab fest, attracting …

DNE

Russia’s Bolshoi Theater to unveil spectacular refit

Russia’s historic Bolshoi Theater will finally raise its curtain on Friday after a massive, six-year overhaul that aims to create a state-of-the-art space for its world-renowned ballet and opera troupe. Stars including prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova and French soprano Natalie Dessay will tread the new stage at a lavish gala attended by Russian President Dmitry …

DNE

Arab films showcase turbulent, redemptive year

The Arab Spring of pro-democracy uprisings features prominently — both directly and more subtly — in the selections at the third annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival, kicking off in the Qatari capital this week. The festival, launched in 2009 in the tiny Gulf Arab state, seeks to showcase the work of Arab filmmakers who this …

DNE

A divine display of Coptic art at St. John the Baptist Church

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Maadi has been known for hosting regular art exhibitions that aim at bringing people of all backgrounds, religions and nationalities together in the house of worship. This initiative, called “Caravan,” was founded by Paul Gordon Chandler, the rector of this Episcopal Church. The idea was to use …

DNE

A new Graffiti takeover in the streets of Alexandria

This past weekend in seaside Alexandria, an artistic laboratory of cross-cultural dialogue, image creation, and creative collaborations colorfully conquered the streets surrounding the Lycee theater. Organized by the Goethe-Institute Alexandria, the “Graffiti: Style, History, Experience” project is the second part of a graffiti takeover initiative that began this past May with commissioned street murals created …

DNE

Bell seeks to channel Tintin

Tintin always is flawless, courageous and heroic — right up to the point of being cartoonesque. That left British actor Jamie Bell, 25, with the challenge of turning the character into a believable, flesh-and-bones intrepid reporter for Steven Spielberg’s "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn." Granted, Bell’s acting was enhanced by performance-capture technology, …

DNE

Break-dancing and graffiti, Spanish and Egyptian

Thursday night, in the stark warehouse space of the Townhouse Gallery, a small crowd of young men and women stood around drinking soda and smoking cigarettes. Many wore track jackets and oversized baseball caps, baggy clothes and Adidas shoes. Some posed to have their pictures taken in front of graffiti adorning the walls, folding their …

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