Mophradat occasionally organizes public book launches, meetings, and celebrations.
Mophradat occasionally organizes public book launches, meetings, and celebrations.
Our homes have been forcefully transformed into multi-purpose spaces, where the intimate and the professional intersect, for good and for bad. As we remain homebound, our domestic skills flourish, our agility at leaping between the real and the virtual is heightened, and our ways of finding sociability and connection have become novel and resourceful.
Our new event series, Lentil Space, is a program of online cooking sessions with artists, re-making the private into a shared public space, and an opportunity to peer into each other’s homes and habits. These sessions will try to reconnect us with the sensuousness and intimacy of cooking together, and also transform ways of making and narrating that are usually confined to the domestic into moments of performance and community.
Once a month, an invited artist, couple, or collective will welcome us into their kitchen, sharing a recipe of their choosing, but also their stories, knowledge, skills, music, texts: glimpses into their practice and their sensory universe, culinary and otherwise.
Episode 1: Nadah El Shazly
Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 9:30pm Athens/8:30pm Brussels
To watch the first episode, see here.
Nadah El Shazly (b. 1989, Cairo) is a producer, vocalist and sound artist. Her debut album Ahwar both radically reinvents the popular music of her homeland from the early 19th century and explores new sonic and harmonic frontiers. Using voice, field recordings and instruments she creates haunting sound pieces and song forms that hijack your perception of time with their complex layers and dynamic structure. Backing up her release with extensive worldwide touring through a solo set and a four-piece band, Shazly has been featured in local and international festivals including Le Guess Who?, REWIRE, Best Kept Secret, Nusasonic, Marfa Myths, and many more. She continues to compose for film and visual art.
Episode 2: Meriem Bennani
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:30pm Brussels/Cairo, 9:30pm Athens/Ramallah
Meriem Bennani (b. 1988 in Rabat) lives and works in Brooklyn. Juxtaposing and mixing the language of reality TV, documentaries, phone footage, animation, and high production aesthetics, she explores the potential of storytelling while amplifying reality through a strategy of magical realism and humour. She has been developing a shape-shifting practice of films, sculptures, and immersive installations, composed with a subtle agility to question our contemporary society and its fractured identities, gender issues and ubiquitous dominance of digital technologies. Meriem’s work has been shown at the Whitney Biennale, MoMA PS1, Art Dubai, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, Public Art Fund, CLEARING and The Kitchen in New York.
Online Talk: Why Call It Labor? On Motherhood and Art work at Kaaitheater, Brussels
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 8pm Brussels/Cairo, 9pm Athens/Ramallah
What does it mean to become a mother if you work in the arts sector? For this conversation on our new publication, Why Call It Labor? On Motherhood and Art Work, at Kaaitheater in Brussels, historian and writer Alia Mossallam talks with some of the book contributors: Mophradat director Mai Abu ElDahab, filmmaker Mary Jirmanus Saba, and writer Mirene Arsanios.
The conversation will be punctuated by a performed reading by Rosaline Elbay of Lara Khaldi’s postpartum diary commissioned for the book.
Alia Mossallam is a cultural historian, writer and pedagogue interested in intimate and lyrical expressions of the lesser known struggles behind pivotal moments in world history.
Mai Abu ElDahab is a contemporary art curator from Cairo, living in Brussels since 2007, and the director of Mophradat since 2014. She has edited and co-edited many publications including Why Call It Labor? On Motherhood and Art Work.
Mary Jirmanus Saba is a filmmaker and geographer. From 2006-2008, she produced the weekly community broadcast television program, Via Comunidad with collective Vientos del Sur in Ibarra, Ecuador.
Mirene Arsanios is the author of the short story collection, The City Outside the Sentence (Ashkal Alwan, 2015). She has contributed to many other essays and short story collections.
7.00 to 9.00pm at Beurscafe, Cobra Bar Gallery, and Lord Byron
Les mots bleus, a series of intimate readings* of new writing by artists for the bar room
9.00pm onwards at Beurscafe
A Tragicomedy about Political Organizing, a story told by Mary Jirmanus Saba
She has room, a performance by Noor Al-Samarrai
Shazamy, a music/DJing session by Andeel
“A Step Too Far” is an evening in two parts presented in collaboration with the Beursschowburg. The night begins with a walk between the bars Beurscafe, Cobra, and Lord Byron in Brussels city center for Les mots bleus – a series of intimate readings of new writings by artists Andeel (EG) with Mary Jirmanus Saba (LB), Noor Al-Samarrai (IQ/US), and Abdellah Taïa (MO). Later, the program continues at the Beurscafe with a story told by filmmaker and geographer Mary Jirmanus Saba, a performance by poet and musician Noor Al-Samarrai, and ends with music mixed by cartoonist and writer Andeel.
The first of a new series of evening programs, “A Step Too Far”, is an ongoing experiment by Mophradat with different forms of direct public address that propose changed dynamics between artists and audiences that generate immediate relationships in shared social space.“A Step Too Far” implies both a setting where gentle intimacy is desired yet unattainable, but also situation where intentional provocation elicits unease. These evenings will continuously swing between both.
Les mots bleus is a series of texts written by visual artists, performers and writers commissioned to be read aloud in bars. On the night of Les mots bleus, the audience is invited to walk from bar to bar where a reader, sitting at a table, is waiting to read one of the stories. These words, over a table and possibly a drink, are an invitation to follow some adventure similar to how late night conversations in bars can sometimes be. Les mots bleus is an ongoing project developed collaboratively by curator François Aubart and artist Benjamin Seror.
A Tragicomedy About Political Organizing is a story told by Mary Jirmanus Saba about summer 2015 when her neighbour installed an electricity generator in the building next door, just one short meter away from her bedroom wall, and proceeded to run it 15 hours a day. Meanwhile, trash removal – the last existing public service provided by the Lebanese government – was suspended, carpeting Beirut in garbage for weeks, and sparking a series of mass demonstrations, the demands of which the state would completely ignore. Without sleep, and frustrated by the horizons for change, she decides to organize her building.
For Shazamy, Andeel uses the help of AI and a combination of multiple apps to create an illusion of professional overrated DJing. A rough mixture of non-homogenised genres, beats, and tempos with a subtle political undercurrent emphasizing the necessity of being as open as possible on the dance floor in the dark times of xenophobia.
In She has room, Noor Al-Samarrai backtracks between catharsis and a goldmine of inherent awkwardness in an attempt to unify body and voice. There will be henna ‘n eggs. There will be slop and mud, and an attempt to get to the heart of it.
Andeel (b.1986) is an Egyptian cartoonist, journalist, scenarist, experimental artist, actor, and sometime DJ. He works in journalism, cinema, and in the internet since 2005.
Mary Jirmanus Saba (b. 1983) is a geographer who uses film and other media to explore the histories of labor movement in the Arab world, and its connections to Latin America, feminist internationalism, and new transformative possibilities. Her debut feature A Feeling Greater Than Love won the International Critics Prize at the 2017 Berlinale Forum.
Noor Al-Samarrai (b.1992) is an Iraqi-American poet and performer. She studied at UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Creative Arts Grantee in Amman where she studied oud with Omar Abbad, taught creative writing at the University of Jordan, and collected oral histories about life and love in mid-20th-century Baghdad for a book on the city’s psychogeography. Her poetry collection El Cerrito was published by Inside the Castle Press in 2018.
Abdellah Taïa (b. 1973) is a Moroccan writer published by Editions du Seuil. His novels are translated in several langages: Le rouge du tarbouche (2005), L’Armée du Salut (2006), Une mélancolie arabe (2008), Lettres à un jeune marocain (2009), Le Jour du Roi (Prix de Flore, 2010), Infidèles (2012), Un pays pour mourir (2015), and Celui qui est digne d’être aimé (2017). In 2014, he produced his first movie, based on his namesake novel, L’Armée du Salut. It won the Grand Prix du Festival d’Angers.
On the occasion of Orbitals, Mophradat and Museo Tamayo hosted an evening titled What’s Your Favorite Ending?Part of an ongoing series of events Mophradat has previously organized in Brussels and in Cairo, the evening asks invited artists and curators to respond to the given question in whatever format they choose. The event includes responses by Orbitals participants Alia B. Al-Sabi, Hicham Bouzid, Kamila Metwaly, and Ahmed Refaat, and they are joined by artists Miguel Calderón and Ana Gallardo.
Alia B. Al-Sabi is a Palestinian writer and researcher, and currently a Helena Rubenstein Critical Studies Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.
Hicham Bouzid is a Moroccan curator and artistic director of Think Tanger and Atelier Kissaria in Tangier.
Miguel Calderón is a Mexican artist working in a variety of media to reconfigure a dark sense of humor through exploration of different social territories.
Ana Gallardo is a self-taught Argentinian artist living between Buenos Aires and Mexico City, whose work proposes art as a space of reflection and transformation.
Kamila Metwaly is an Egyptian-Polish music journalist, electronic musician, and curator living between Cairo and Berlin.
Ahmed Refaat is an Egyptian researcher and film programmer at the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC) in Cairo.
Mophradat collaborates with curator Aram Moshayedi on an evening in which artists to respond to the question: “What’s Your Favorite Sound?” With Manon de Boer, gerlach en koop, Kamila Metwaly, Diederik Peeters, Reem Shilleh, and a backdrop by Mounira Al Solh. During the event, Moshayedi will introduce some of his projects involving artists’ music, and Mophradat will present a newly released vinyl record by The Dwarfs of East Agouza (Mophradat/Unrock 2017). Drinks will be served.
Manon de Boer is an artist primarily working with film, living in Brussels.
gerlach en koop have been working as a collective artist since 2000.
Kamila Metwaly is a music journalist, electronic musician, and curator based between Cairo and Berlin.
Aram Moshayedi is curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
Diederik Peeters is a licensed visual artist accidentally lost in the stables of performing arts.
Reem Shilleh is a filmmaker and, with Mohanad Yaqubi, part of Subversive Film.
Mounira Al Solh is a Lebanese-Dutch visual artist.
This event was organized in collaboration with Flanders Arts Institute on the occasion of Aram Moshayedi’s participation in its Visitor’s Programme. With thanks to Beursschouwburg.
A party to launch a brand new vinyl LP by The Dwarfs of East Agouza (Alan Bishop, Maurice Louca, Sam Shalabi) recorded live as part of Both Sides of the Curtain in Beirut, produced in collaboration with UnRock, and with special cover art by Mariana Castillo Deball. Celebratory DJ sets by Bishop, Maxton Fort, and Mister EZ.
To mark the publication of the interviews book These are the tools of the present: Cairo – Beirut (Mophradat/Sternberg), responses to the question:“What’s Your Favorite Tool?” from novelist, translator and editor Nael Eltoukhy, filmmaker Nadine Khan, political ecologist and environmental educator Pam Labib, and curator and writer Francis McKee against a backdrop by Nile Sunset Annex.
Nael Eltoukhy’s novel Women of Karantina (Merit/AUC Press) was published in 2013, and Out of the Gutter is forthcoming from Al-Karma. He translates from Hebrew to Arabic, most recently Almog Behar’s novel Chahla and Hezkial (Kotob Khan, 2016). He is currently opinion editor at Mada Masr.
Nadine Khan is a filmmaker (including One in a Million, 2006, and Harag w Marag, 2012) and a television director (Sab3 Gar, 2017) living and working in Cairo.
Pam Labib is “mad” by genes, political ecologist by training, environmental educator by accident and anarchist feminist by practice: “I live in a world of make believe that I don’t make; in a world that hates who and how I love, all while its ecological stable states are falling apart.”
Francis McKee is an Irish writer and curator. He is director of CCA Glasgow and a lecturer and research fellow at Glasgow School of Arts, working on the development of open source ideologies and their practical application.
As a tribute to Francis McKee’s book How to Know What’s Really Happening (Kayfa Ta/Mophradat), responses were given to the question: “What’s Your Favorite Conspiracy Theory?” by filmmaker, curator and writer Alia Ayman, artist Rana ElNemr, sound artist Yara Mekawei, and curator and writer Francis McKee, in the presence of a painting by Mona Marzouk.
Alia Ayman occasionally makes films/videos, often curates (mostly at Zawya), and sometimes works on a mysterious dissertation for her PhD in anthropology at New York University.
Rana ElNemr is an artist who works primarily with photography, but also engages text, film, sound, and sculpture. She is a cofounder of the Contemporary Image Collective.
Yara Mekawei is a Cairo-based electro-acoustic music composer and sound artist. Her sonic bricolages draw inspiration from the flow and infrastructure of urban centers.
Andeel read his new short story commissioned by Mophradat. Next Floor is about the decisive moment in which a five-year-old’s school adventures confront him with his own consciousness and emotions. Getting to grips with the existence of the other, he wonders if we are the subjects of a strictly controlled experiment.
Andeel is a cartoonist, writer of articles, scriptwriter, artist, and actor. He has been working in journalism, cinema and the internet since 2005.
To mark the publication of Mophradat’s book of interviews, These are the tools of the present, with Bureau des Réalités we invite you to an evening during which artists Chris Evans, Jasmina Metwaly, and Sophie Nys will each present their favorite tool against a backdrop designed by Nile Sunset Annex, and accompanied by Marnie Slater reading a text written by Mirene Arsanios.
Organized at the occasion of the launch of the book How to Know What’s Really Happening by Francis McKee, a co-publication with Kayfa ta, What’s Your Favourite Conspiracy Theory? was an evening of conspiracies with McKee, Sven Augustijnen, Eleanor Ivory Weber, and Geo Wyeth, hosted within a scenography designed in collaboration with Laurie Charles
On the occasion of Orbitals 2019, Mophradat and the Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA) hosted an evening dedicated to some of the references and influences shaping today’s curatorial practices in the Arab world. The four participating curators Soukaina Aboulaoula, Nada Bakr, Nuha Innab, and Beya Othman introduced their practices—ranging from architecture to visual arts, new media, and sound—through the material that informs their work. Presenting writings, videos, music, and more, a proposal for a tentative lexicon for understanding the contexts of art-making in the Arab world may emerge.
Soukaina Aboulaoula (b. 1993) is an independent curator based in Marrakech where she co-founded and co-manages Untitled, a curatorial, editorial, design, and art direction agency.
Nada Bakr (b. 1989) us an Egyptian curator, researcher, and cultural manager. She is currently the managing director and co-curator of Cairotronica – Cairo Electronic and New Media Art Festival, and is Community and Project Manager at Disruption Network Lab in Berlin
Nuha Innab (b. 1985) is an architect and researcher based in Amman where she co-founded OPPA for research and architecture in 2019, and is also the founder of Plot_436, a digital archive about architecture in Amman.
Beya Othmani (b. 1992) is an Algerian-Tunisian curator who is currently pursuing her M.A. in Spacial Strategies at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule in Berlin and preparing a program of artistic interventions at La Boite in Tunis.
Two evenings in Casablanca and Tunis to introduce our programs and activities, as well as present works by some of our grant recipients and collaborators, including Basma Alsharif, Andeel with Mary Jirmanus Saba, Marianne Fahmy, Iman Mersal, Muqata’a and nasa4nasa.
Tunis, Tuesday 16 January 2019, 6pm at l’Art Rue
Iman Mersal talks about her new book co-published by Mophradat and Kayfa ta, How to Mend: On Motherhood and its Ghosts, a conversation moderated by writer and journalist Yahya Wagdy.
An open event presenting artwork and projects Mophradat has supported so far, a shared moment for us to introduce to our work, activities, and grant programs.
An evening of music to celebrate many new beginnings — of autumn, of songs, of ideas, and of collaborations
The evening featured music by Concert (Chris Evans, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Benjamin Seror) and the Dwarfs of East Agouza and was followed by dancing to the tunes of Beirut-based DJ Jana Saleh. The Cairo-based art collective Nile Sunset Annex presented their latest glossary term: bar.