Platform for discussion003
Can Artistic Practices Negotiate the Demands of Cultural Institutions, Public Space, and Civil Society?
News from the Arab World reaches western audiences on a daily basis. The various analogue and online formats of media – TV, radio, newspapers, and blogs – are extensively reporting on the events in this region. In Berlin, and certainly elsewhere in Europe, cultural institutions and festivals reacted very quickly to, and reported on developments by inviting artists from the MENA region to present their performances, films, and theatre pieces. Western cultural producers thus became allies of the revolutionaries.
The panel discussion 'Cairo: The City, the images, the archives' with Khalid Abdalla, Hala Galal, Maha Maamoun and Sarah Rifky, in the framework of the 62nd Berlinale Film Festival, provides just one example of the many festivals and events exploring such a topic. It revealed a diversity of reactions by cultural producers in Egypt and effectively contextualised the situation there. Khalid Abdalla, one of the co-founders of the alternative media collective Mosireen, presented the motivation and the main intention of the group and showed the most important work of the group so far, namely, The Diary of the Revolution, an impressive documentary of the events in Egypt filmed by its citizens.
Mosireen, a group of filmmakers, citizen journalists, and activists, demands and simultaneously represents the ideals of civil society. As a non-profit media centre in downtown Cairo, Mosireen invites everyone to contribute their visual material in order to help create a civic version of history and at the same time enables a large civic network of individuals, various initiatives and projects. On Mosireen's YouTube channel, new films are being uploaded on a daily basis, which capture the events and present an alternative history, from citizens and for citizens.
What is a platform?
A platform is a space for speaking in public. It is an opportunity to express ideas and thoughts. It also suggests the formal declaration of a stance or position on any given subject.
Unique to Ibraaz is a 'platform', a question put to writers, thinkers and artists about an issue relevant to the MENA region. This platform is sent to respondents both within and beyond the MENA region and contributions will be archived every 12 months.