Artists | Ideas | Now turns to the country’s creatives to ask: How can art and activism raise the profile of the climate emergency?
An eight-part audio series, supported by The Space, we hear from Egyptian artists and those with Egyptian heritage, who are using the arts to address the most pressing and complex conversations behind the crisis. From creating desert sculptures that can be seen from space, to reawakening dance culture, we discover how creativity can spark change.
Conversations take us on a journey through the history of protest, tackling the urgent and unspoken issues that underpin climate disaster, from colonialism to censorship and the destruction of cultural heritage.
Featuring artists from literature, performance, visual, street, sound art and more, as a global climate summit begins, this series presents the voices of those leading creative solutions that not only protect the environment but fight for a fairer, more just and equal world.
Artists | Ideas | Now is produced by Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in collaboration with Artists on the Frontline.
The series was supported by The Space and Arts Council England with funding from the National Lottery.
The producers are Laura Marie Brown and Zoe Lafferty. Executive Producer is Sarah Fortescue.
How to Listen
Each individual episode is linked next to the artist below.
The whole series is available on YouTube with English subtitles
Yasmin El Rashidi – Place
Yasmine El Rashidi is the author of The Battle for Egypt: Dispatches from the Revolution and Chronicle of a Last Summer a coming-of-age novel that was long-listed for the 2017 PEN Open Book Award. She is a regular contributor to the The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, and a contributing editor to the Middle East arts and culture quarterly Bidoun.
Miray Sidhom – Protest
Miray Sidhom is an Egyptian-born writer, theatre-maker and performer. Her practice combines elements of film, soundscapes, poetry and movement to create socially engaged, thought-provoking performances. She produces work that confronts social issues whilst celebrating duality and her cross-cultural experience. Miray‘s writing has been featured in LegalAliens’ audio series Things I Am Not, and the Black Gold Arts Zine. Her debut solo show THE BREAD WE BREAK explored Egypt’s suppressed history of political uprisings, and is currently short-listed for ‘Best Performance’ at The Manchester Culture Awards. Miray is a founding member of experimental theatre company ClusterFlux Collective, creating innovative performances which respond to our contemporary context in playful ways.
Aya Tarek – Street Art
Aya Tarek is renowned for the giant murals painted in public spaces, whether in their home town of Alexandria, in 2011 during the revolution and most recently in countries including Brazil, USA & Geneva. Aya’s constant pursuit of finding new ways to engage the public and drive for artistic independence has taken them from canvas to murals, digital art to 3D-motion graphics, feature films and creating Egypt’s first art collection for an NFT marketplace.
Yara Mekawei – Sound
Yara Mekawei has always had a passion for recording the sounds around her. An artist, scholar, electric musician, and producer of Radio Submarine she draws inspiration from the dynamic flow of urban centres and the infrastructure of cities.
The music you hear on this series is Yara’s, Feed on Wasted Energy is from her LP 1963.
Adham Faramawy – Nature
Adham Faramawy is an artist based in London. Their work spans media including moving image, sculptural installation, and print, thinking through issues of materiality, touch and toxic embodiment to question ideas of the natural in relation to marginalized communities. They lecture at both Goldsmiths University, London and Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. In 2018 they presented a show on the body and VR for BBC Radio 4, in 2019 they premiered their video piece ‘Skin Flick’ at a screening at Tate Britain dedicated to their work. They were shortlisted for the Jarman Award in both 2017 and 2021. Their work has been exhibited in solo shows at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, Niru Ratnam Gallery, London, in group shows at Whitechapel Gallery, Somerset House, and Serpentine Gallery and in 2022 they performed their first live work as part of the Serpentine Ecologies program ‘Back to Earth’.
The air is subtle, various and sweet, video, 35 minutes, Adham Faramawy, 2020-21
Hazem Header – Dance
Hazem Header is an Egyptian contemporary dancer and choreographer. With a BA of Physical education, studies of Personal training, Biomechanics and Kinesiology and a long career as a personal trainer and volleyball coach, Hazem decided to focus on contemporary dance in 2009. Hazem studied at the governmental center “Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC)” at Cairo Opera House. There he gained experience in choreography.
In 2013 Hazem founded his own dance company ‘ NÜT Dance Company’ (NDC);
NÜT Dance Company is a Cairo established & legally recognized entity that produces and creates contemporary dance, physical performances & culture events.
Nadine Abdel Ghaffar – Cultural Heritage
Nadine Abdel Ghaffar is the curator and founder of Art D’Égypte. Creating work with sustainability in mind, her organisation works to preserve and create access to cultural heritage whilst presenting a contemporary view of Egypt to the world.
Sarah Rifaat – Community
Sarah Rifaat is an Egyptian graphic designer, photographer, theatre performer, and environmental and climate activist. Sarah was the Arab World Co-ordinator for 350 and participated in the first Arab Youth Climate Movement. Sarah founded Khoyout Troupe which uses theatre as a tool for development and social change.
Podcast Artwork Design – Salt and Sister Studio
‘Salt and Sister Studio are two sisters based in the UK, taking up space in branding and design, with proud Egyptian heritage and unapologetic creative. Starting in 2020, they’ve worked with arts and culture collectives, such as A.MAL projects, FAYDdigital (formerly Floresta Magazine) and the Turnpike Gallery. Their values are authenticity, integrity and inclusion, with work that reflects this in bold, considered design and impactful messaging.’
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