Antiracist and Intersectional Film Festival
A project @vvar.ch
“Second movement – Birds watching” a film by Rania Atef (Egypt)
The work takes the decision to ban the “Mahraganat” music- a type of singing and music that mixes techno and folk music that appeared recently in Egypt – under the accusation of “spoiling the public taste” as a point of departure that reflects the relation of power and authority with art. The video tries to merge western classical music in conversation with the music and lyrics of Mahragant music. Introducing the notion of harmony through the merge of birds’ dance and el “mahraganat dance” where both are wild and natural in their essence of bodies movement. Attempting to break boundaries and rules being put on recent contemporary metamorphosis while introducing a state of reconciliation and homogenization.
It questions the role of entities such as syndicates and media channels in Arab region in the dispute to extend influence and impose control. Music emerging from marginalized and poor social classes – vernacular and deeply rooted from its context- that own its special performative dancing was able to go beyond and find their audience outside the censorship established by those parties.
The video includes found footage that presents two narratives; one represents the state of merging and the other is the narrative of official authorities.
About the artist:
Rania Atef (1988) is a visual artist based in Cairo who explores the notion of play across a wide range of mediums; text, drawing, installation, and video. Interested in investigating the infrastructure of social and labor discourses on both individual and collective levels while focusing on the study of verbal and visual dictionaries in this context.
Now she is enrolled in the second edition of TASAWAR curatorial studies (TN), attended MASS Alexandria program 2018/19 (EG), and holds a BA Degree in Product design in 2011 (EG). Also she is part of the “K-OH-llective” artist group.
Atef has participated in a number of local and international exhibitions and festivals; “Archive of forgetfulness” at Goethe Institute (SA), “Hotel Beethoven” at BOZAR (BE), “Artist At Work” at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (PL), and others in The Netherlands, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, Jordan, and South Africa. And recently was awarded the British council prize -Roznama 8th Edition, and shortlisted for the “Mother Art Prize” 2020 (UK).
Further, she took part in public programs like “Tashweesh” festival, “ Les Rencontres Des Bamako, Biennale Africaine de la Photographies”, “QAYYEM” and “Biennale WARSAW”.