Cairo's Townhouse gallery forced to close its Rawabet Theatre

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jun 2019

The space has been running since 2006, hosting countless plays, performances and events each year

raw abet

In an announcement on Facebook, Townhouse Gallery said it will be shutting down its Rawabet Theatre space.

"The decision to shut down Rawabet comes after several attempts to renew its lease; however, it was inevitable," the statement read.

Townhouse Gallery is a highly respected Cairo-based art space and frontrunner in Egypt’s independent cultural movement, operating since 1998.

Founded in 2006, Rawabet has been one of the best known spaces supporting independent artists, plays and performances for the past 13 years.

The space even housed the entirety of Townhouse's operations – an office space, library, exhibition space and art shop – during the period when its building partially collapsed.

This had come shortly after Townhouse was shut down in December 2015 for two months following an inspection carried out by local authorities for what they cited as “administrative irregularities.”

Despite these struggles and threats to its continuity, Townhouse had managed to maintain all its venues and operations for over 21 years.

Townhouse has challenged and changed Cairo’s art scene, acting as a catalyst that inspired a movement of artists willing to redefine the meaning of contemporary art, and encouraged the rise of more art spaces in Cairo.

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