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Latest in Culture


Sands, not lights, cover Gaza archaeology sites

Five thousand years of fascinating history lie beneath the sands of the Gaza Strip, from blinded biblical hero Samson to British general Allenby. The flat, sandy lands on the Mediterranean’s southeastern shore have been ruled by Ancient Egyptians, Philistines, Romans, Byzantines and Crusaders. Alexander the Great besieged the city. Emperor Hadrian visited. Mongols raided Gaza, …

DNE

‘The Unwritten’ bridges fiction to reality

In the swirling story that permeates the series "The Unwritten," the protagonist Tom Taylor is enveloped by the uncertain fear that exploits of boy wizard Tommy Taylor might be more than just stories loved by millions. Rather, Tom and Tommy might be one and the same, separated only by the porous boundary of reality intersecting …

DNE

Dispatches from the 14th Europe Theater Prize

With little fanfare and plenty of enthusiasm, the 14th Europe Theater Prize commenced on Tuesday evening with Russian performance “Honey” by veteran theater director Yuri Lyubimov. The Europe Theater Prize is a theater festival celebrating the best of European theater. The Prize was founded by the European Commission in 1986 to create a platform for …

DNE

Film offers a look into the life of poet Zein Elabidin Fouad

Amr Bayoumi’s film about Egyptian poet and political activist Scren Grap of Zein Elabidin Fouad., “Who Can Arrest Egypt?” was screened last night at the Cairo Opera’s Artistic Creativity Center. The 50-minute documentary, filmed in 2009 and presented for the first time in 2010 on Al Jazeera, was updated following the revolution to include a …

DNE

Tributes pour in for film-making great Lumet

Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese led the tributes as the film world mourned Sunday the loss of director Sidney Lumet, a master film-maker identified strongly with his beloved New York. Lumet, who died Saturday from cancer, was nominated four times unsuccessfully for a Best Director Academy Award with "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Network" numbering among …

DNE

Local graphic arts magazine launches second issue

Graphic arts enthusiasts flocked to the French Cultural Center in Mounira on Sunday evening to celebrate the launch of the second issue of TokTok, Egypt’s breakout graphic arts magazine. The well-organized and attended event featured a signing with the artists and a display of drawings from the new issue. Attendees also enjoyed refreshments and the …

DNE

Lumet, ’12 Angry Men’ and ‘Network’ director, dies

Sidney Lumet, the award-winning director of such acclaimed films as "Network," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "12 Angry Men," has died. He was 86. Lumet’s death was confirmed by relatives and friends, who said he died early Saturday morning at his Manhattan home. He had suffered from lymphoma. A Philadelphia native, Lumet moved to New …

DNE

Saint Petersburg hosts the Europe Theatre Prize this week

From April 12 till 18, Saint Petersburg, Russia will host to one of the biggest theater events in Europe: the 14th edition of Europe Theatre Prize and the 12th edition of Europe Prize New Theatrical Realities. The Prize events will take place under the support and patronage of the Russian Government with its Ministry of …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: Cracking the Source Code

British filmmaker Duncan Jones — the son of British rock legend David Bowie — made a big splash two years ago with his acclaimed debut feature “Moon” starring Sam Rockwell. A one-man show for the underrated American actor, “Moon” was the rarest of beasts: a smart, thought-provoking sci-fi film with art-house sheen devoid of the …

DNE

Shock in Jenin after theater director’s murder

The murder of an Israeli-Palestinian theater director drew international condemnation as shocked colleagues refused to believe he was killed for his art. Juliano Mer-Khamis, a well-known actor and theater director born of Jewish and Arab parents, died on Monday in the Jenin refugee camp when a gunman opened fire on his car as he was …

DNE

After 5 decades, R. Crumb’s art shocks, edifies

Robert Crumb finds it odd that 90 pieces of his work are hanging on the wall or protected under glass at a new exhibit featuring the underground "Zap Comix," "Bijou Funnies" and so many more. "R. Crumb: Lines Drawn on Paper," on display through April 30 at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society …

DNE

Linda Cleary: Speaking truth in poetry

  Linda Cleary is in Cairo for the long haul. A native of Manchester, England, the poet, writer and artist visited Cairo five times before taking up residence in Dokki 15 months ago. From her first visit, Cleary has become a fixture in local arts circles, quickly connecting with established artists, writers and gallerists while …

DNE

Picasso loan to West Bank a study in complications

A Palestinian art academy is preparing to spruce itself up for a famous guest: a $7 million Pablo Picasso masterpiece that would be the first displayed in the West Bank. But simply arranging the painting’s journey remains a far more difficult work in progress over complications such as finding reliable transport and clearing Israeli checkpoints. …

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Jewish-Arab director shot dead in northern West Bank

By Saif Dahlah/AFP Masked gunmen shot dead a well-known Jewish-Arab actor and director on Monday in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, Palestinian police and medics said. The killing of Juliano Mer-Khamis, a rare figure straddling the bitter Israel-Palestinian divide, sparked outrage on both sides and was condemned by the Palestinian prime minister as a …

DNE

Congo artists exhibit work in South Africa

A sculptural bust made of discarded bullet cartridges has a protruding belly with a hole in it. Another bust encased in a large glass case has holes in its heart, belly and thigh. "The hole represents life," Freddy Tsimba, 43, said of the busts he made using tens of thousands of bullet cartridges he has …

DNE

Revolutionary art takes over Abdeen Square

The Cairo glitterati were out in force to support the arts in Abdeen Square on Saturday in the biggest post-Jan. 25 cultural event to date. “Al Fann Midan” (Art is a Square) is the first ever festival put on by the Independent Artists Coalition, a company conceived of and born during the revolution. The festival …

DNE

Design collaboration: House of Egypt

Some would say it’s capitalizing on the current revolution trend, others say it is about giving back to Egypt. Call it what you will, but the crop of talent and designs that have flourished since the January 25 Revolution is to be admired. Young designers have rushed back to their workshops and factories to start …

DNE

On the State of Egypt: Local insight for an international audience

By Caroline Curran Lauded for his novels, infamous for his sometimes caustic, often overtly political writings, things are never dull with Alaa Al-Aswany — especially when so-called tyrants and hypocrites are involved. Until recently, English readers had access to only one side of Al-Aswany’s literary output. Though a great window into Egyptian society and thoroughly entertaining, …

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Bloggers join hands to create Japan ‘Quakebook’

Inspired by a desire to help victims of Japan’s deadly earthquake, a group of bloggers and writers have come together through the Internet to create a book of stories about the disaster. The result, "Quakebook," is a moving collection of photos, memories and reflections about the massive tremor and monster tsunami that demonstrates the power …

DNE

Tahrir Book Fair: Expect some noise

“This is going to be the best book fair we’ve had,” says Trevor Naylor about the Tahrir Book Fair that opens on Thursday at the Tahrir campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC). It certainly will be the biggest book fair AUC has ever organized, seeing that it takes its name from the site …

DNE

Egyptian art at a crossroads

By Heba Elkayal CAIRO: In the wake of the January 25 Revolution, the question of the future of fine arts in Egypt is the concern of an anxious minority involved in the art world, either as artists, buyers or gallerists. Art in Egypt was heavily monitored, dictated and produced by the bureaucracy of the Ministry of …

DNE

The unwritten future of Egypt’s culture scene

By Joseph Fahim CAIRO: A few days after former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, a number of local publications invited some artists to discuss their thoughts about the future of culture after the revolution. On the one hand, skeptics like actress Elham Shaheen and scriptwriter Karam El-Naggar, said that local culture is heading towards major slump, …

DNE

France’s star philosopher shines for Libyan cause

With his open shirt and flowing dark mane, France’s most infamous public intellectual has adopted the cause of Libyan freedom, taking an outsized role in French foreign affairs in the process. Even his detractors — and he has many — acknowledge that Bernard-Henri Levy helped engineer France’s pathbreaking recognition of Libya’s fledgling rebel authority, a …

DNE

Egypt museum gets back five stolen artifacts

CAIRO: Troops and police have recovered five artifacts stolen from the Egyptian Museum during a revolt that toppled the country’s government, the antiquities council said on Sunday. The council said in a statement that four bronze statues of ancient Egyptian deities and a bronze scepter stolen on Jan. 28 have been restored to the museum. …

DNE

‘Miral’ embraces Palestinian controversy

By Derrik J. Lang/ AP During the making of “Miral,” a coming-of-age tale about a teenaged Palestinian girl, a profound moment occurred for director Julian Schnabel as he was filming in a convent outside of Jerusalem. Sirens sounded and everyone on set — men, women, Palestinians, Israelis and otherwise — suddenly stopped for several minutes of …

DNE

Edge of Arabia’s Terminal showcases Saudi artists

Saudi Arabia’s cutting edge art collaborative, Edge of Arabia, opened its first major UAE exhibition last Monday. Terminal, a pop-up exhibition curated by Bashar Al Shroogi of Dubai’s Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, is on at the Dubai International Financial Center through April 15. Curated by a different person in each city, Edge of Arabia is …

DNE

THE REEL ESTATE: Egyptian reality gets rude awakening at documentary fest

One of the biggest dilemmas that have always bemused me is the evaluation of beginning filmmakers. Theoretically, the lack of experience automatically lowers expectations on first works; the imperfections are projected givens. I, however, constantly rebuffed this premise having seen remarkable first and second works from across the globe, including places with less experience, facilities …

DNE

800 priceless Egypt artifacts still missing

  CAIRO: Egyptian officials said on Friday that 800 priceless artifacts were still missing after armed robbers raided a warehouse near the canal city of Ismailia in the unrest following a popular revolt. "An inventory of the East Qantara warehouse which houses antiquities from the provinces on the Suez Canal and Sinai has revealed the …

DNE

Russian Chernobyl drama echoes Japan fears

By Anna Malpas/ AFP A new drama film set in Chernobyl opens in Russian cinemas this week, recalling the trauma of the world’s worst nuclear accident just ahead of the 25th anniversary of the catastrophe. The Russian film’s release comes after the quake-damage to a nuclear power plant in Japan brought fears of a nuclear explosion …

DNE

Egyptian films in the spotlight at the Documentary Film Festival

The third Cairo Documentary Festival kicked off on Sunday evening the American University in Cairo’s Ewart Hall, with an impressive schedule of documentary films by local and international directors under the themes of “Egypt Rising” and “Neighboring Nations.” The opening program included three feature-length films by Egyptian directors. Given new context by recent events in …

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