D-CAF returns to Cairo with strong line-up after almost two-year absence

Ahram Online , Tuesday 28 Sep 2021

The 9th edition of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) will kick off on Friday, featuring a large assortment of performers from Egypt, Arab region and beyond throughout three weeks of events.


Operating under Orient Productions, the festival comes after almost two years of absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic that froze artistic activities and changed the schedule of many.

Running until 22 October, the D-CAF will open with a music concert at the Greek Campus, featuring rappers from Egypt and the United States.

In the following days, the festival will host performances by artists hailing from Egypt, France, Tunisia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, and Chile at the stage of Falaki Theatre.

karim karim

The new media and visual arts programme will be launched with the photography of Egyptian artist Hana Gamal, showcased at the Adly Building Rooftop. It will also bring its unique line-up of VR games, films, and interactive installations to two venues located above the historical Davies Bryan Building, better known as El Shorbagy. 


This edition of D-CAF will also see the birth of Orient Productions’ latest acquisition: the all-new Rawabet Art Space. The emblematic Rawabet Theater first opened its doors to artists in 2006 and has since become a core pillar of the Egyptian independent theater scene. After a long absence, Rawabet was recently taken over by Orient and revamped into a multipurpose, multidisciplinary art space.

The festival’s Urban Visions programme will take art to the streets and sidewalks of the capital. Two works conceived by French and Hungarian artists will invite audiences to explore Cairo’s unique urban fabric, and discover the city center in a new light.

D-CAF also announced the return of its Art for All initiative and the launch of its new Art of Sharing campaign. The campaign, which was launched in 2017, provides free festival tickets to marginalized individuals.


This is done through the festival's cooperation with the US Embassy in Cairo, Basita, Drosos foundation, collaborating NGOs and a number of private donors, who will provide free tickets to 2,000 marginalized individuals, so that they can enjoy a wide range of artistic events and performances.

“The climate crisis is among the most pressing issues in today’s world. All sectors of society and the economy must take critical steps against global warming, including the arts sector,” says Ahmed El Attar,  the founder and artistic director of the D-CAF.

This year, D-CAF’s Special Events programme will shed light on ways to live, work, and create more sustainably. The events will encourage artists to think of their roles not only as creators, but also as holders of an important social responsibility.

The programme will be launched on 3 October with an Environmental Workshop for Arts and Culture Organizations held in partnership with Greenish, a youth-driven environmental movement working to empower one million climate activists across the MENA region. 

The programme will also feature El Attar and Danish theater director Jesper Pederson in an Arts Talk on Sustainability in the Performing Arts, where they will discuss "ways in which theater as an artistic medium can give audiences a concrete sense of connection to something larger than themselves, something which long precedes and outlives them —our planet Earth and its rich ecosystem."

The special programme will also host an info session in collaboration with British cultural organization Farnham Maltings entitled International Touring: Getting More Mileage from your Artistic Ideas Without Traveling an Inch.

Following its 8th edition that took place in March-April 2019, the 9th edition of D-CAF will run from 1 to 22 October.

Over the past years, D-CAF, the multidisciplinary festival presented a rich line-up of music, visual arts, dance, film, literature, and theater, bringing artists from all around the globe to Cairo audiences.

Over the past years, the festival's creative interventions took place across numerous venues in Downtown Cairo, such as Rawabet Art Space (previously known as Rawabet Theatre), Falaki Theatre, Greek Campus, La Vennoise Rooftop, Cinema Zawya, Maktabi Creative Office spaces, Studio Emad Eddin, 100 Copies Studio, as well as other spots in Downtown Cairo, topped with Ezbet Khairallah Theatre, and the Maqad of Sultan Qaitbey outside the area.

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