Through multi-disciplinary presentations, a book, a documentary film, and an audiovisual performance, the project "My Nineties: A Panorama of Collective Memory Televised" tries to recapture the epic televised popular culture that came to a rise during the period of the 1990s.
The show will take place in Beirut's Metro Al-Madina Centre on 14 August, where the makers of the project will exhibit their work, consisting of video footage, a book launch, a documentary screening and an audio-visual live performance.
Addressing the media in era of Nineties, project manager and director Mohamed Allam started to gather material from different individuals who recorded video footage using VHS tapes. The collected archive ranges from various entertainment programs, kids shows, Western soap operas, to circus shows and newsletters from national television represented in over 4,000 tapes. The tapes were collected from markets and other places but not from archives.
The project aims not only to document the history of televised content but also to answer questions of how the identity of those who were raised in the era of the nineties came to be formed by popular culture. It also aims to reflect on how this generation reacted to the unheard-of flow of information and entertainment that occurred during that time period.
The project also includes a book, where Hassan El-Halwagy, a journalist and a researcher, offers an archive of the material gathered. He also researched and provided a literature review of some academic projects that dealt with the Egyptian media, especially television during the nineties, to create an overview of the reaction of the masses to television and the discourses that surrounded the scene.
In the documentary film, director Emad Maher features several TV personalities, directors, camera-men and sound engineers to comment on how Egyptian TV was like in the nineties. The video exhibition is to mix video footage from the recorded tapes to music of vintage popular advertisements, soundtracks of programs and pop songs, and even news reports and football matches.
As in the Cairo opening, Mohamed Allam and Ramy Abadir will present an audio-visual performance placing a modern twist on the archive's footage and sounds to bring audience to their feet.
The project, as thought-provoking as it is, strives to evoke nostalgia for that era and to dig into the collective memory of this age group.
Wednesday, 14 August at 9:30pm
Metro Al-Madina,Saroulla Building, Hamra, Beirut.