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Latest in Culture


Playful creatures in new sculpture exhibit

The Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting a sculpture exhibition by artist Gamal Abdel Nasser. An artist with a steady list of exhibitions since 1983, his sculptures have evolved and matured while always retaining a distinct style. The exhibition showcases a myriad of his styles, ranging from colorful masks and torsos, to figural representations and …

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Greek artist surprises with non-controversial beauty

  With no prior knowledge of Greek artist Yorgos Papageorgiou or his work, this was one of the few times I attend an opening with no preconceptions. But what I found at the Mashrabiya Gallery was a truly pleasant surprise.   It’s been some time since I came across an exhibition that does not attempt …

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Julian Barnes leads Booker Prize finalists

It has insults, rivalries and bitter accusations. The battle for Britain’s most prestigious literary award is proving to be a page-turner. Five judges, led by a former British spymaster, are meeting Tuesday to choose the winner of the Booker Prize for fiction, which brings a 50,000 pound ($82,000) purse, a big sales boost for the …

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Poland and Egypt, in music and verse

On Friday night, Egyptians and expats gathered under the glow of orange and blue lights outside Darb 1718 for an evening of music celebrating the diplomatic and cultural relationship between Egypt and Poland. A group of Polish and Egyptian musicians, led by Maria Pomianowska, performed music to accompany Arabic translations of poetry by Polish Nobel …

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A sublime dance in 3-D, a stage-frightened Pope and a spectacular action ride in Abu Dhabi

By Joseph Fahim The past decade has been quite uneventful for award-winning German filmmaker Wim Wenders (“Wings of Desire,” Paris,’Texas”). Big duds such as “Don’t Come Knocking” and “Palermo Shooting” prompted critics to write him off; his best years appeared to be far behind him. But after three years of silence, Wenders finally makes a triumphant …

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Estonian animated film wins Anim’est award in Bucharest

BUCHAREST: Estonian short animated film "Body Memory" directed by Ulo Pikkov was late Saturday awarded the top prize at the Anim’est animation festival in Bucharest. The nine-minute film focuses on a premise that the body retains memories of a person’s ancestors and will now be Anim’est’s submission for the 2012 pan-European Cartoon d’OR prize. "The …

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Algerian author scoops German book prize

BERLIN: Internationally acclaimed Algerian author Boualem Sansal Sunday received the annual German Book Trade Peace Prize and said that people everywhere were rising up against dictatorship. Sansal, 62, received the award for his open criticism of the regime in Algeria and his drive for "freedom of speech, culture and religion" in his native country, said …

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Grand banquet of documentaries enthrall at Abu Dhabi

Once again, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival cements its reputation as the regional Mecca for documentaries, thanks to an exciting selection featuring some of the biggest names in documentary filmmaking along with newcomers making a splash with their remarkable films. The most notable of the biopics featured in the fifth edition of the fest are …

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Regional festival season kicks off with Abu Dhabi

Amid the accustomed razzle-dazzle, the fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival kicked off Thursday evening, commencing the official start of a regional festival season surly to be shaped by the Arab Spring. Devoid of politics, the sole controversial incident of the evening came prior to the start of the show when Egyptian film …

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Oman opens first Gulf opera house

The Royal Opera House of Oman, the first of its kind in the Arabian Peninsula, was officially opened on Wednesday by the country’s ruler Sultan Qaboos, himself a music enthusiast. "The time has now come to cap that rich heritage (of Oman) by adopting concepts of international culture and contribute to its promotion," Qaboos said …

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New label, album: Keeping it fresh, the Wilco way

A couple of decades ago, a young and tough Jeff Tweedy thought he was punk rock. That is nothing compared to how out there the 44-year-old Wilco frontman and father of two feels these days. "To be honest, at this age, I feel like what we’re doing now is more punk rock than anything I …

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Pakistan comics deflect Taliban with ridicule

Bombs and burqas may be no joke, but stand-up comics in Pakistan defy death threats to poke fun at Taliban militants with an irreverent humor popular among an increasingly frustrated middle class. With national newspapers and television screens daily swamped by stories and images of suicide bombings and assassinations, the country’s young breed of funny …

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Calling for real women’s stories in Egyptian film

CAIRO: Egyptian film is the most widely viewed cinema in the Arab world, and Egypt is one of a few countries in the region that has maintained this industry since the 1930s, despite war and instability. Accordingly, Egyptian movies, which have long inspired people across the Arab world, have significant potential to positively affect women’s …

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Book fair to tackle challenges of digital age storytelling

Authors once just had to deal with a publisher but are now being forced to embrace the digital age and negotiate the rights to their works for TV, films and e-books. Organizers of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which opens on Wednesday, said the challenges thrown up by the upheaval in the book world would be …

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Grand statements on politics and social networks at Darb

A new exhibit at Darb 1718, the Contemporary Art and Culture Center in Old Cairo, brings together Latin American artists to reflect on the relationship between “images, politics and social networks.” Funded by Artmedia and curated by Sayira Cerdas of Costa Rica, the exhibit’s goals, outlined in press releases, are bold and lofty. “The idea …

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An evening of art and jazz at Mashrabia

On Saturday evening, a small crowd packed into the Mashrabia Gallery for the release of an art book by Jacinta Candinas, Manuel Vázquez and Andri Perl. Egyptian oud player Georges Kazazian’s Ensemble Sabil played a short set, marking the beginning of a run of shows around the city. The book, simply titled “Cairo-Lucerne-Coire,” is made …

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Bedouin girl inspires Egyptian theatre show in London

  The Arabian Dance Theater Company are launching a new show in October 2011 in London titled, “Under the Sun.” Based on a real character, “Under The Sun” is a modern story about a Bedouin girl who challenges her traditions and follows her dream to become a dancer in Cairo. It explores traditional and contemporary …

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Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer wins Nobel Literature Prize

STOCKHOLM: Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer, who sets moral goals with unexpected yet simple imagery, won the 2011 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday. Transtroemer, 80, was honored "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality," the Swedish Academy’s jury said. His poetry is filled with imagination and emotion, but is also …

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Sri Lanka hopes movies are ticket to better times

Once a location of choice for directors shooting World War II classics and big 1980s adventure films, Sri Lanka is hoping to make a comeback on the movie trail as it emerges from civil war. Since the island’s bloody conflict ended in May 2009, the government has been trying to promote a new image focusing …

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Baghdad film festival reopens after four years

Baghdad’s third international film festival, and first in four years, opened on Monday, with the aim of reviving an industry hammered by decades of violence and sanctions. More than 150 films from 32 countries will be aired in multiple locations across the Iraqi capital from October 3 to 10, festival director Taher Alwan told AFP. …

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A sincere visual record of the revolution in ‘The Road to Tahrir’

Having heard of the latest book release by the American University in Cairo Press titled “The Road to Tahrir,” I was sceptical and already exhausted at what I was about to read. Bookstores have been filled to the brim with books about the revolution, most of which are empty pseudo-analytical chronicles by authors who are …

DNE

The final destination of ‘The Traveler’

  t has been dubbed the “Heaven’s Gate” of Egyptian cinema; the biggest commercial and critical flop in the modern history of local cinema. A bloated, self-conscious art-house wannabe muddled in vague philosophies and sluggish narrative.   Critics of the film were merciless. Headlines read: “Colossal failure,” “A scandal,” “An exercise in posturing.” Few other …

DNE

Nobel comes days too late for Canadian scientist

WASHINGTON: The ultimate lifetime achievement award came days too late for Canadian Ralph Steinman, who was honored Monday with the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his groundbreaking work on the immune system. The 68-year-old cell biologist’s own discoveries helped extend his life but he died Friday after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer, according to …

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Nobel Medicine Prize opens week of awards

STOCKHOLM: The 2011 Nobel season opens Monday with the announcement in Stockholm of the Medicine Prize, to be followed over the course of a week by the awards for physics, chemistry, literature, economics and peace. The Medicine Prize is scheduled to be announced at 11:30 am at the earliest. The winner of the Nobel Peace …

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Politics and promotion at all day hip-hop festival

By Maurice Chammah On Saturday at El Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek, a crowd of several hundred fans gathered to watch eight hours of continuous hip-hop. The festival, called “Hip-Hop Non-Stop 2501,” featured a diverse set of acts ranging from the obscure to the more well-known. Flashing lights and fake smoke enveloped the stage as one …

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Maryam, Maryam, quite contrary

By Chitra Kalyani “I often ask myself if I believe what I’m doing. Do I believe that I sing? Am I really doing this?” Maryam Saleh says, explaining her puzzling concert title. “Ana mesh baghani” (I Don’t Sing) was also the opening song at Saleh’s act at Rawabet on Thursday night. The packed and dim-lit Townhouse …

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Feeling the pressure? Not David Guetta

By Mesfin Fekadu / AP David Guetta wasn’t chasing a monster hit when he crafted songs like the Kelly Rowland-assisted “When Love Takes Over” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.” The French DJ-producer was relatively unknown to most Americans, and he didn’t feel much pressure to make the tracks Grammy-winning, international smashes — though …

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50 years on, ‘Catch-22’ still resonates

Hyper-cynical anti-war novel "Catch-22" turns 50 next month, and Joseph Heller must be chortling in his grave over how apropos the phrase he coined remains today — from the US jobs crisis to a bottomless war in Afghanistan. In addition to a fresh edition of the novel, publishers have rolled out new books to coincide …

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With new digs, NY Film Festival carefully expands

A sense of expansion presides over this year’s New York Film Festival, the 49th and first since Lincoln Center’s new $41 million film center was opened. But as with all things NYFF, any growth is measured and restrained. The annual movie event, which begins Friday and runs through Oct. 16, is the country’s most prestigious …

DNE

Writer, filmmaker and translator consolidate storytelling with Palestinian reality

Reality and its multiple truths are mirrored in “Bab Al-Shams” (Gate of the Sun) and its weaving of storytelling, translation and film adaption, argued the artists involved as they poetically reflected on the current state of affairs. On Monday evening, the American University of Cairo students and professors squeezed into the Oriental Hall at the …

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