#32: Be pan-gender polyphonic.|#68: Once in a while we need to get out of utopia and get something done.|#130: Be a uniquely charged and curated gallery that is an artwork in itself.|#35: The artist fee should be good.|#65: No excuses: Thursday morning, team meeting.|#17: An exhibition is never finished.|#62: Be kind. Full dishwasher: empty it.|#33: We will ensure work by female artists and curators make up at least 50% of our programme each year.|#82: Clean and sterile looks professional, but really boring.|#64: Arrange a distribution of forces.|#141: Start a Publication Studio at Kunsthal Gent in the nearby future.|#75: A building is a capricious thing: it is inhabited and changed, and its existence is a tale of constant and curious transformation.|#127: Remain practical: what happens to the work in an endless exhibition?|#81: Things come alive when there is friction.|#2: Bring something new to the city of Ghent.|#98: The success of it will not lie in the result but in the process.|#6: Demand that visitors are active.|#29: We make the program for the artist that we exhibit.|#16: Kunsthal Gent will always be a construction site.|#111: Do it together.|#90: The best systems have a failure or ‘a hole’ in them…|#54: What about disabled artists?|#88: Changing internships, artists, curators,... are important propositions to keep a fresh set of eyes.|#14: Can you also remain a toddler institution?|#34: We pay artists.|#32: Be pan-gender polyphonic.|#68: Once in a while we need to get out of utopia and get something done.|#130: Be a uniquely charged and curated gallery that is an artwork in itself.|#35: The artist fee should be good.|#65: No excuses: Thursday morning, team meeting.|#17: An exhibition is never finished.|#62: Be kind. Full dishwasher: empty it.|#33: We will ensure work by female artists and curators make up at least 50% of our programme each year.|#82: Clean and sterile looks professional, but really boring.|#64: Arrange a distribution of forces.|#141: Start a Publication Studio at Kunsthal Gent in the nearby future.|#75: A building is a capricious thing: it is inhabited and changed, and its existence is a tale of constant and curious transformation.|#127: Remain practical: what happens to the work in an endless exhibition?|#81: Things come alive when there is friction.|#2: Bring something new to the city of Ghent.|#98: The success of it will not lie in the result but in the process.|#6: Demand that visitors are active.|#29: We make the program for the artist that we exhibit.|#16: Kunsthal Gent will always be a construction site.|#111: Do it together.|#90: The best systems have a failure or ‘a hole’ in them…|#54: What about disabled artists?|#88: Changing internships, artists, curators,... are important propositions to keep a fresh set of eyes.|#14: Can you also remain a toddler institution?|#34: We pay artists.|
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Cairography Collective

February - June 2021

independent publishing, exploring, translating and anthologizing chronicles and critical positions from contemporary Arab perspectives

The Cairography Collective proposes 'independent publishing' as its main vehicle to enable vistas for Arabic thinkers, writers and artists into art discourse and practice, in defiance of aesthetic consensus. Challenging homogenizing, vilifying or stereotyping the 'Arab', the collective invests in critiques of practices of othering or generalizing. With debate, webinars, collective reading sessions, translation workshops and live encounters as leverage, it thinks performance through Sawsan Gad’s and Arafat Sadallah’s notions of being outside language, works through Nehad Selaiha’s legacy of institutional critiques, and questions methods of producing knowledge inspired by Isabelle Stengers.

In the residency at Kunsthal the collective will experiment with how it can galvanize dialogues between the core-members, invitees and audience into concrete publishing actions making visible the various practices that support them: editing, translating, reading and often laboriously working from necessity.

Activities and events

29 January 2021
Cairography: Emergency Edition

Supported by Moussem Nomadic Arts Center and launched during NYU-hosted PRICKS conference, this publication of HaRaKa and Sarma is a propeller initiating the residency at Kunsthal Gent. Ten years into Post-revolutionary Egypt and the Arab region, and within an unfolding deadly pandemic, this issue came as a response to a year of losses, bodily, as well as economic and social.

16 + 17 February 2021, 19.00 - 20.00
Online workshop: 'Art theory across language barriers'
We assume that English is the working language for contemporary performance, and contemporary art at large. Yet this assumption is tested daily, whenever Anglo-Saxon rooted discourses are mobilized across languages for translation purposes. How do we write about bodies, performance, choreography, agency and contemporaneity in Arabic, for instance? And do academic or other arguments remain intact if it's impossible to translate their crucial terminologies? This workshop is led by Lamia Gouda, HaRaKa Platform's core member, researcher, performance artist and professional translator. Her practice challenges the very notion of contemporary dance and performance art, by invoking non-western canons, terms and practices. Would you like to participate? Send us a short paragraph describing your interest in the proposal.

Monday 7 + 21 June, 17:00 - 19:00
LANGUAGE CAFE - 'The language of oppression and resistance'

online @Kunsthal Gent - more information

An initiative of Cairography Collective in residence at Kunsthal Gent, in collaboration with Disarming Design Sandberg Institute. Curators: Siwar Kraitem and Rasha Dakkak

Language Café is a recurring zoom-meeting that revolves around language, design, translation and politics. The conversations that take place there are infused with contemporary perspectives from the Arabic-speaking regions and the diaspora. Issues around translation, the canon and hegemonies, migration and politics will be explored.

Wednesday 9 June, 17:00 - 20:00
TOUCHING PUBLICATION - Independent publishing in art and its tangible agendas
Alternative conference organized by CAIROGRAPHY COLLECTIVE with SARMA/ORAL SITE & HARAKA
online @Kunsthal Gent - more information

TOUCHING PUBLICATION is the closing event of Cairography Collective at Kunsthal Gent,addressing independent and grass-root publishing and its agenda's as a political gesture. The collective embraces the online platform as an interactive mode of diasporic gathering across the divides between West and Arab regions.

Do you want to stay posted about future events? Contact the collective.

Cairography Collective

The founding members Adham Hafez, Ismail Fayed and Myriam Van Imschoot position Cairography Collective as a rotating invitation that includes various partners and collaborators.

Ismail Fayed is a dramaturg, writer, and critic. He writes both in English and in Arabic and has been published widely in the Arabic speaking region's leading critical platforms and newspapers. He was the associate editor for 'Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents', the first major English language book documenting and theorizing the history of Arab art, published by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, MoMA.

Adham Hafez is an award-winning choreographer, composer, theorist, and performer. He is the founder and artistic director of HaRaKa Platform, Egypt's first platform dedicated to performance studies and movement research. His latest projects were most recently seen at Sharjah Architecture Triennial, La Mama Theatre and Hebbel Am Ufer Theater.

Myriam Van Imschoot is a performance artist who bends film, installation, concert and publication to meet polyphonic narratives, extended vocal techniques rooted in long-distance communication and community-oriented sound poetry practices (currently with Marcus Bergner at Le brass). She is the founder of Sarma and Oral Site, the publishing house for experimental documentation and artist publications.

Image: Nile Delta

That particular set-up of mixed land use (urban juxtaposed to farmland), has become an essential feature of the Nile Delta over the past four decades. Urban encroachment of farmland caused a massive housing crisis and failing agricultural policies.

All rights are reserved to the Egyptian Ministry of Environment

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