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Egyptian artists mark their presence at London's Nour Festival for Arts

In its fifth edition, Nour Festival sheds light on contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture. Egypt's presence is marked with films screenings, dance performances, discussions and exhibitions

Ahram Online, Tuesday 4 Nov 2014
Salah El Brogy
Salah El Brogy participates in Nour Festival with solo dance performance The Moment (Photo: courtesy of the artist)

In its large display of arts from North Africa and the Middle East, the six-week long Nour Festival in London brings together artists and performers from across the region.

Egyptian performer and choreographer, Salah El-Brogy participates with the world première of The Moment, a solo dance performance. El-Brogy is not a stranger to the festival as he has already participated in its past edition with another solo titled Hurriyah, in which he collaborated with British calligrapher Soraya Syed and musician Nitin Sawhney.

The festival's film section will include a screening of Excuse My French (La Moakhza), Amr Salama's third feature. The movie tells the story of a Coptic Christian child who, fearing discrimination from his classmates after transferring to a public school, pretends to be a Muslim. The movie stirred considerable controversy during its release in 2013. The film was rejected by censors more than three times before it was finally released at the beginning of this year.

Bryony Dunne, a multidisciplinary artist living between Dublin and Cairo, will screen her short movie The Orchard Keepers. Released in 2014, the film looks into the Bedouin community in Egypt's Sinai, setting the events at the backdrop of political upheavals. By following two characters from the local community who struggle to keep their orchards alive, Dunne looks deep into the rich traditions of the region

Filmmaking in the Middle East – Women Behind the Camera – is one of the festival's sections in which four women filmmakers will share details about their practice. Egypt will be represented by young assistant director Nadine Khan, joined in the discussion by creative producer Elhum Shakerifar; Iranian filmmaker and screenwriter, Tina Gharavi and an Oscar nominated Yemeni-Scottish film maker, Sara Ishaq.

Paralleling the performances and film screenings, an exhibition titled Across Time and Space will follow the contemporary and regional garments from the Silk Road. The exhibition will showcase contemporary attire: Iranian, Kurdish, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Egyptian and other North African cultures.

London's Nour Festival for Arts continues until the end of November revealing many more riches from the North Africa and Middle Eastern region. Over the past five years, the festival has grown from a pioneering arts education programme based at Leighton House Museum to the all-encompassing, 32-partner and 20-venue strong cultural event, the organisers reveal on the festival's website.

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