Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival to offer a large assortment of shows

Farah Samir, Thursday 12 Oct 2023

The 11th edition of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) opens today and will continue until 5 November across numerous venues in Cairo in addition to Alexandria


Cairo's Downtown area hosts a significant number of events in venues such as Festival Hub, Kodak Passageway, Rawabet Arts Space, The Factory, AUC Tahrir Cultural Center, Falaki Theater, Studio Emad Eddin, Australian Cultural Forum, and Goethe-Institut in Bustan.

Several venues are located outside Downtown Cairo, such as Goethe-Institut in Dokki, Institut Francais in Mounira, Beit Al-Sennary in Sayeda Zeinab, and El-Samer Theatre in Agouza.

Meanwhile, Alexandria welcomes the festival's followers to the Jesuit Cultural Center.

The rich programming of this year's D-CAF offers theatre plays, music and dance performances, and visual art events, alongside seminars and workshops.

Among the important components of the D-CAF is Arab Arts Focus (AAF), which sheds light on the productions by artists from the Arab world. The AAF provides a platform to shine a light on cultural production from the Arab world, support the contemporary art scene, amplify diverse regional voices, and emphasize the notion of "Arabness" within and beyond geographic borders. 

D-CAF offers seven theatre shows, commencing with CLASH Digital Resurrections (Switzerland, Germany - 12 and 13 October); Al Sowan, a world premiere (France, Egypt - 15 and 16 October); The Woman Who Dwelt in the House Before, (Syria, France - 19 and 20 October); Work txt (United Kingdom - 26 and 27 October) - with showcases in Alexandria and Cairo.

On 29 October, The Most Secret Memory of Men from Burkina Faso takes the stage.

Then, The Discreet Charm of the Pillars of Society (Sweden, Egypt - 2 and 4 November).

The last play is The Lucky Children, which will be making its world premiere during the festival (Egypt, Switzerland - 5 and 6 November). 

D-CAF offers a lineup of seven dance performances. The Waterproofed Artist, an interactive dance spectacle from Egypt, will make its world premiere at D-CAF on 2 and 3 November, while Bird, a show from Tunisia, will be taking place on 4 and 5 November. 

On 4 November, D-CAF presents a duo of dance performances - Smell of Cement and 205 Questions About Dance (Egypt, Germany).

The day continues with How el Fann and Cosmos, a compelling combination of dance, theatre, and circus arts (Palestine, Egypt). 

D-CAF features three poetry performances. In the Time of the Apricots embraces the life of a Palestinian woman (Palestine, Morocco, France - 2 and 4 November). It will be followed by In Nini Ya Momo (Palestine, Morocco, France -  2 and 4 November) .

The festival concludes with the world premiere of Empty Cages (Egypt, France - 4 and 5 November). 

D-CAF presents a music night on 3 November, featuring artists from Egypt, Syria, Sudan, and the Czech Republic.

Also, catch the debut of The Infinite Hip-Hop Song Live (Egypt- 21 October). 

The media and visual arts segment at D-CAF presents two pieces. Baalbek (Hungary, 17 to 23 October). and, How Am I Here, (Syria, Germany, Jordan - 3 to 5 October)

The festival also includes special events with free entry, including four workshops.  The Limits and Possibilities of Using AR in Theater (Germany- 13 and 14 October), which is a hands-on coding workshop. Interactive Audiovisual Installations (Hungary - 20 and 21 October). Experimental Dramaturgy (UK- 27 October) invites 10 participants to delve into experimental dramaturgy. The series concludes with Staging and Setting the Scene (Burkina Faso- 30 October), focusing on the concept of theatrical staging. 

There are two poetry performances, Drink Your Milk, (Pakistan- 17 to 23 October). Blink and You'll Miss Us, (Afghanistan, Canada - 17 to 23 October). And two discussions, Festivals and audiences in the Arab world, (3 and 4 November). A Reading and Discussion with Nora Amin and Irina Kastrinidis, (Switzerland, Egypt - 14 October )

Check the festival's programme here

Visit D-CAF's Facebook page for more details.

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