Saturday, June 22, 2013

Visegrad Photo Press Exhibition

by: Jehad Rajab and Zeina Makarem

      GIZA, Egypt - The Visegrad Group countries celebrated the opening of their photo press exhibition in Gezira Art Center in Zamalek, Wednesday.

      The Visegrad photo press gallery consisted of portraits from Egypt, Slovakia, Poland and Czech Republic .  The opening celebration started by a speech given by Amir Al-Leithy, the director of Gezira Galleries. Al-Leithy presented the ambassadors that attended the opening and the cultural ministers in addition to the Former Prime Minister of Poland.

      Al-Leithy said “Al-Gezeriah Art Center hosts many different galleries and events for Egyptian and foreigner artists to increase the cooperation between us." He said that the art is the language that the whole world use to communicate. 
     This art gallery, without a doubt, has a special place in today’s society. This art gallery offered an open eye appealing view where visitors can observe and understand art.  Nevertheless, why are art galleries important to anyone?

     The Visegrad Photo Exhibition displayed the history of several particular cultures in a creative manner.  All portraits provided a snapshot of what life was like at a particular period of time through the artist’s artwork.  Their art provided information about the people living in a particular time period, certain war, emotions and provided musical backgrounds with their work.  

     The art explained the social and political climate at the time the artwork was made.  Most importantly the art conveyed the perspective of all artists during a certain moment in time. In some pieces, the art was realistic; furthermore, in other pieces, some of the artwork symbolized nature in specific.

     The purpose of this art gallery is to promote art, culture and artists.  There was an emergence of established artists, this art gallery recognized unique art and promoted this talent to the public at large. Believe me, it was a huge success. 

     Art gallery attendees were introduced to different perspectives and ways of thinking through the viewing of their artwork.  In addition, the viewers or audience were fascinated but some criticized that certain sections were identified properly like the other portraits, this art was inspired to endorse a particular cause, change people’s way of thinking, and to create their own works of art.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Art of Compassion and Humanity : Mohammed El Masry's ' We are the End of the World' Exhibition at Artellewa Galley

By Yasmin Ouf and Raghda Yazid 

An Art of Compassion and Humanity 

GIZA, Egypt -  The opening of Mohamed El Masry’s We Are the End of The World exhibition in Artellewa Gallery was a unique addition to Cairo’s art scene.
            Cairo’s art scene has been centered in the Downtown and Zamalek area therefore, when we heard that this exhibition is located in Ard El-Lewa, a poor area in Giza, we had to go and see how different it would be from the luxurious galleries in Zamalek. From the minute we reached Ard El-Lewa, there was a complete cultural shift; we had to park our car and take a “tok-tok” to reach the gallery, since the streets are too narrow for cars to go in.        
          Mohamed El-Masry  is a young, talented photographer and artist. He is a humanitarian and his art portrays how humans are killing themselves, whether by war or by neglecting the environment. “We Are The End Of The World” has been displayed in several countries including India and the Unites States.          
          The exhibition featured pictures from wars and conflict areas over the period of 100 years. It consisted of a series of photographs of people torn apart by wars. However, their faces are all covered by red roses, which made it hard to determine the sex and race of the people in the pictures. “We are killing ourselves and we are killing our planet,” explained Mohamed El-Masry, “It doesn’t matter what your sex or race is, all what matters is that you are a human being who is in pain and this is the message I’m trying to send through my art.”           
         The ‘Artellewa’ Gallery itself is a small, open art space located directly on the streets and it allows anyone passing by to go in and see the exhibition for free. “The owner of the gallery is an artist himself,” said Mr. Khaled Aly, the curator, “he used to live in Ard El-Lewa and he opened his gallery here hoping to expand the art scene and introduce it in the areas which no one would think to visit to see an art exhibition.”            
         Slowly, the people kept piling up inside the gallery to watch the exhibition; there were foreigners who received invitations, children playing in the streets came in to see what was happening and people from the neighborhood came to watch the exhibition. “Artellewa is different than a lot of galleries in Cairo.” said Moritz Mihatsch, “here, people from the neighborhood are allowed to come in and watch, ask questions and learn about art while in other galleries such as Darb, I see security guards trying to keep street kids out which goes against the idea of opening a gallery in such an environment.”                      
            The combination of art, history and culture in Artellewa is one of a kind and it is an inspiration for true artists. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From film to an underground music enthusiast

By Nada Hedia and Mahmoud Fathi

Cairo, Egypt --  Musician, Singer and Songwriter Ayman Serdar performed yesterday at El Sawy Culturewheel, to introduce fans to a collection of his songs.

Serdar kicked off the night with three of his signature songs, all played back to back, followed by a selection of unoriginal yet well known tunes.  Some of the audience quickly reacted in excitement and gradually started to sing along.  

After dropping a few of his anticipated tracks, Serdar, backed by a band of four musician friends, had his fans up on their feet dancing.

The show however was received with mixed reviews.  In a group of approximately 100 attendees, some complained that it did not live up to their expectations.

Khaled Morshedy, one of the audiences thought the concert ''was below average and it wasn't different and did not reflect what Egyptian music is.''  Morshedy continued,  " the lyrics were a bit traditional," in comparison to Serdar's previous gigs.

Despite the controversy surrounding his singing, Serdar says preparing for concerts is a time consuming process.  He says sometimes it takes up to two years to come up with the lyrics, and a month to prepare for shows. 

Serdar now performs an average one time a month at El Sawy, which has been widely credited for giving birth to many of the art talents that preform or exhibit through it. People at the venue believed the education Serdar got attending Film School in Vancouver coupled with persistence can provide Serdar with what it takes to  make a successful  career out of  concerts.

In an interview, the vocalist himself admitted "Living in Vancouver had such a huge impact on me as a person and my artistic personality.  It taught me how difference could be empowering.  It taught me about art as I learned music in Vancouver through film.  Being surrounded by talented people, musicians, artists from all over the world was such an enriching experiment."

When asked about his upcoming concerts, Serdar finally recommended his facebook page as a place to get updated with what's going on.

Monday, June 17, 2013

ElFIT Challenge Promotes Healthy Living in Egypt

By Nadim Mahfouz and Diana Saleh

Cairo, Egypt- ElFIT Fitness Festival was held in Uptown Cairo, Moqattam district on June 14 and 15.
The second qualifier round of ELFIT challenge is the first of its kind in Egypt. The goal of the event is to promote healthy living. Sportsmen from all over Cairo gathered to participate in the two-day event. They were tested in different categories: agility, strength, balance, speed, power, and endurance.
The participants were divided into four groups. The individual men/women, teams, and masters (over 40). Friday’s qualifier round began with 120 men, 20 women, 18 teams, and 4 masters. Saturday’s event was divided into 3 knockout rounds and a final. The winners were awarded 5,000 L.E for first place, 3,000 L.E. for second place, and 1,000 L.E. for third place.
           In addition to the second qualifier competition, there were exhibitions and performances representing different forms of exercise, crossfit, Le Mills, TRX, running, biking, Zumba, Jazzercise, and Parkour. Also in attendance, were representatives from various high profile sports gyms such as, Gold’s Gym, Fibers, Leo, and Samia Alouba. The event was powered by many sponsors including, Rebook, Redbull, and Uptown Cairo. Spectators were invited to try, free fitness classes, participate in the gym tents, and entertain their children in the kid’s zone. Spectator, Mohamed Awadly, 23, says, “ I am glad such a big event took place here in Egypt.”
           The event is a tri-series challenge that began February 23, 2013. Event organizer, Ahmed Azzet, stated, “The first event was held for one day, we learned it was better to create a two-day event so more people would have the chance to participate.” The organizers of the event wanted to create a festival-like day for participants, family, and friends to enjoy and learn about the benefits of healthy living by combining sports with entertainment. The most recent challenge was the second qualifier round, held June 14 and 15.
           Season one finals will take place sometime in September or October 2013, the location has yet to be announced. Hend El Gamal, 37, says, “Even though I am not participating I am excited to see the challengers in the next round.”

Saturday, June 15, 2013

AUC's Egyptian Folklore Concert

By Salma Kadry and Hagar Elfar

AUC's Egyptian Folklore Concert left people breathless

CAIRO, Egypt -- An exquisite Egyptian Folklore Concert was held at Malak Gabr Theater in AUC New Cairo Campus on Thursday.

The AUC music group along with the folklore group collaborated together presenting an astonishing performance that combines the traditions, diverse cultures and vibrant colorful costumes of the Egyptian society. 

The whole show was organized, performed, choreographed and hosted by the AUC community with the assistance of some professional musicians. 

The performance is preserving the folk traditions and reflecting on the various Egyptian cultures across Egypt's demographic. According to Nadia Abdelhady, Associate Director for Cultural programs in the Office of Student Development, "The folklore group help keep Egyptian traditions alive because their folklore performance show traditional dances from different parts of Egypt, dances which have to do with different occasions and different cultural practices." 

Rural Egyptians "fallahin", Nubians and Bedouins performances were displayed in the concert demonstrating the diversity of Egyptian dance throughout the country. Abelhady said, "Through dance the Egyptian cultural and heritage comes through, and is preserved, enjoyed and celebrated."  

The folklore performance is characterized by being very organized and well rehearsed. Every performance has a different lead dancer, which kept the audience entertained by the diversity offered. 

The folklore group has a busy schedule and they go through extensive rehearsals in order to produce such a professional performance. The group performs regularly throughout the year, and they meet at least two to three times a week. 

There is a structured process that the whole group must go through; they have to create a proper program, learn the dances, practice and prepare costumes, make up and accessories. Karma Marawan, one of the lead dancers, said, "The two or three hours we spend weekly on rehearsals is nothing compared to the hours we spend studying, and we love to dance, so we make time for it." 

Admission was for free to the AUC community. Throughout the show, the audience were cheering and applauding fervently, which created an energetic atmosphere. Many of the audience were friends and families of the performers, but still there was a mixture of Egyptian and International students who attended. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Recap of the Sounds Elemental Workshop :: December 2012

By Kim Fox

This blog post is designed to provide a recap of the Sounds Elemental Workshop that took place in New York City in December 2012. It's a chance to be creative and experiment with nat sound, audio editing and so much more.

This blog post is also designed as a template on how students can post their Covering an Event assignment.

Welcome to the JRMC Multimedia Writing Blog

Welcome to the JRMC Multimedia Writing Blog!

This course is taught each semester at The American University in Cairo (AUC). Professor Kim Fox usually teaches a section of the course in the Journalism and Mass Communication (JRMC) department.

Students enrolled in the course learn a variety of media writing styles. They also produce several multimedia projects.

We hope that you enjoy their work.
~Professor Kim Fox