The 11th edition of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) opens this week in Cairo. The Festival is a major event in the Cairo cultural calendar and is a platform for showcasing the best of contemporary art from the Arab world and beyond.
This year’s festival will feature over 30 music and theatre performances, visual arts, exhibitions, talks and workshops representing fourteen countries and is expected to attract audiences from all over Egypt and the world.
In its 11th edition now, D-CAF maintains its commitment to presenting emerging and innovative artists from across the globe through a wide range of events. The three-week event takes place at various locations in the city and features local, regional, and international expressions across various artistic domains.
The festival is produced by Orient Productions, an Egyptian private production company based in Cairo with a dedicated focus on cultivating high-quality cultural projects within the realms of performing and visual arts.
“This edition of D-CAF is a splendid celebration of the rich tapestry of Arabic performances. We have curated a remarkable lineup that spotlights the diversity and vibrancy of Arab arts, featuring groundbreaking shows that take part in the 8th edition of the Arab Arts Focus (AAF).” Festival founder and Artistic Director Ahmed Attar expressed.
Attar added that “These performances are true gems, unveiling their brilliance for the first time on stage, with some premiering for the very first time in the MENA region. They are a testament to the exceptional professionalism and unparalleled creativity of our artists.”
One of the highlights of the festival is the Arab Arts Focus (AAF), a biennial event that showcases cutting-edge contemporary performances by Arab artists. This year’s AAF will highlight artists from Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
The showcase wil also shine a spotlight on the voices of Arab women poets with the launch of the transnational SHAEIRAT project, which stages bilingual Arab poetry performances on a global scale.
Other highlights of the festival include: The Swiss-Egyptian production CLASH…Digital Resurrections, which uses augmented reality to resurrect historical women; the world premiere of Al Sowan, a new performance by renowned French theatre artist Pascal Rambert; the dance performance IZA HAWA, choreographed by Lebanese artist Ali Chahrour; the musical set The Infinite Hip Hop SongLive!, composed and interpreted by Hassan Khan; and an exhibition of works by Pakistani artists, including Drink Your Milk and Blink and You’ll Miss Us.
As part of the lineup, D-CAF’s artistic director, Ahmed El Attar who is a theatre maker himself will present two plays. Every Brilliant Thing, adapted from Duncan Macmillan’s text translated into Arabic El Attar, and his latest work, The Discreet Charm of the Pillars of Society, which will have its Arab world premiere at the festival.
As part of its Talks and Workshops program, the festival will host a dedicated event centred on the theme of translation. Additionally, five other sessions will feature professionals from Egypt, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Burkina Faso, and Hungary engaging in discussions related to staging, direction, playwriting, and the increasing influence of technology in the performing arts.
The Downtown Contemporary Arts (D-CAF) will take place in Cairo and run from October 12th to November 5th, 2023.
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