D-CAF links world together through art in its upcoming packed edition

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Sat, 03 Mar 2018 - 09:25 GMT

ounder Ahmed Al-Attar, CEO of Al Ismaelia Group Mohammed El Taher and D-CAF’s Executive Director Reem Allam-Press Photo

ounder Ahmed Al-Attar, CEO of Al Ismaelia Group Mohammed El Taher and D-CAF’s Executive Director Reem Allam-Press Photo

CAIRO – 3 March 2018: Because art is a powerful way to build connections between people from different nationalities, the seventh edition of Downtown Contemporary Art Music (D-CAF) will present new, unique and vivid performances introduced by artists across the world, as founder, manager and artistic director Ahmed El Attar who announced details on Thursday about the multi-disciplinary event.

This year’s edition, which will be held from March 8 to March 29, will feature 50 shows including dance, theater, visual art and workshops presented by 23 countries, according to D-CAF’s founder and artistic director, Ahmed El-Attar, who announced details about the edition in a press conference on Thursday.


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D-CAF’s founder and Artistic Director Ahmed El-Attar during the press conference - Press Photo

For the first time, the festival’s theme will focus on women to support them in art since it will coincide with International Women’s Day, which is scheduled to take place on March 8, Attar said. Hence, the festival’s opening ceremony, set to be held at Al-Azhar Park, will be performed by female artists from completely different genres, including Moroccan singer Samira Said. Additionally, it will offer a 50-percent discount voucher for women, applicable on all of D-CAF’s events.

When asked why Said was chosen and how different she is from D-CAF, Attar said that Said’s music career is similar to D-CAF’s experience, which manages to add new performances every year and includes different styles in its program. Said is also capable of shifting her musical and artistic style, ans she has done so more than once.

This year is unique, as the program contains several events that will be introduced for the first time this year. This includes the New Media Arts program, offering three performances with projections, music and light installations. Each movement made with a musical instrument will trigger and project imagery on the walls.

Also, in collaboration with Medrar Institution for Visual Art, D-CAF has organized a “Meet the Artist” Open Studio. The studio sets a six-month-training program for eight emerging Egyptian youth artists under the supervision of professional visual artists to give them a chance to acquire creative skills in contemporary arts, stated Nour el Safouri, designer of Medrar’s recurring program.

Regaining Cairo’s cultural position in the Arab region and in the world, as well as giving a new twist to the contemporary art scene in Egypt, D-CAF’s most unique program is usually presented in many of Cairo’s historic and cultural places, such as Maq’ad of Sultan Qaitbay at Cairo’s “City of the Dead” and Al Alfy Bey Street in Downtown.

Mohamed El Taher, CEO of Al Ismaelia Group, which is sponsoring the festival, told Egypt Today that Downtown has a strong cultural and artistic scene with its buildings, cafes and statues, and D-CAF preserves this scene through art.


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D-CAF’s founder and Artistic Director Ahmed El-Attar during the press conference - Press Photo

However, this year one or more of its shows will be performed in Korba, Heliopolis, declared Attar.

“Before the Revolution”, a play by Temple Independent Theater Company and written and directed by Attar, will be performed for the first time in Egypt by actors Ramsi Lehner and Nanda Mohammed. It premiered in October 2017 in France, Belgium and Switzerland, and it has also toured several festivals.

Furthermore, the festival is hosting for the fourth time a four-day Arab Contemporary Art Focus, where international directors of films, programs and theaters are invited to witness Egyptian and Arab arts offered in 15 performances to market Arab creativity across the world, Attar said.

The festival will also offer more than one show by the disabled, in which they perform professional works. This is along with the festival’s film and literature program that includes an Irish film, “Sanctuary”, being showed in Egypt for the first time. The film’s plot focuses on intellectually disabled actors, Attar stated.

What makes this year special is that the festival offers the Arts for All initiative, aiming to provide free theater, dance and musical concerts’ tickets to civil organizations where refugees, disabled people and orphans live, giving them a chance to attend the arts’ events.

“Regardless of an individual’s socio-economic status, age or disability, art should be offered to all people,” said D-CAF’s executive manager, Reem Allam.




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Music Program Curator Mahmoud Refat and Musician El Sadat-Press Photo


D-CAF’s music program curator, Mahmoud Refat, said that this year’s music program is special, as it hosts several bands and musicians who fuse different musical styles, such as Middle Eastern with Latin American, in their performance. For example, the musician Tarek Yamani, who fuses the East African rhythms of Gulf music with one of America’s greatest art forms, will present in this year’s edition.

In this regard, Refat told Egypt Today that D-CAF aims to introduce different and new styles to audiences and musicians, and to create strong and meaningful interactions between Egyptian musicians and other musicians.

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