By Emma Davis
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The Noise of Cairo

This article is over 12 years, 2 months old
Director Heiko Lange
Issue 369

The 18 days that shook the world and brought the Mubarak regime tumbling to its knees brought a fresh wave of expression and creativity to Egypt.

The experiences of ordinary people, after 30 years of dictatorship, working together to change society had a huge impact on art in Egypt. Director Heiko Lange explores the explosions of creativity during and after those 18 days through a series of interviews with independent artists.

It is clear from their experiences that the revolution changed everything. Under the Mubarak dictatorship street art and performance were illegal. Now streets and squares are filled with people painting on the walls, singing on stages in the middle of the streets and using public spaces for dance and theatre. One artist explains how “the wall of censorship fell” after the 18 days.

An independent dancer is able to stage her first piece in seven years. Ramy Essam, a musician, now plays his songs in the streets. He sings about complete regime change, against the remnants of Mubarak’s regime. Essam gets whole groups of children in the streets to sing along.

However, the fight is far from over. After Mubarak’s fall, Essam was arrested by the army for his anti-regime songs.

Despite this, the film shows the new freedom which artists have enjoyed since the start of the revolution. As one artist says, “People realise these aren’t isolated events and everything affects everything.” Artists are learning their own power along with all workers in Egypt. This film gives an excellent insight into how they are now fighting to build for a more free, equal society.

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