'Freedom to Create' has selected Cairo to host the annual awards ceremony to announce the winners of the 2010 'Freedom to Create' prize. The award ceremony included a vibrant music festival held at the Salah El Din Citadel on 26 November. The performers at the prize event included Egyptian singer Hakim, Hip Hop artists Arabian Knightz, Namibian artist Eric Sell, and folk artist Donia Massoud.
The prize is a US$125,000 award, which is divided across three categories – Main, Youth and Imprisoned Artists, and was established in 2008 to celebrate artists who utilise their talents to promote social justice and inspire the human spirit. It is open to artists in all creative fields.
This year, the prize attracted more than 1,700 entries from over 100 countries, including six from Egypt.
The Founder of a Sudanese theatre group that stages mobile performances to bring their message for peace and reconciliation to Sudan’s most dangerous conflict zones was awarded the 2010 'Freedom to Create' prize. The prize was announced by spokesperson Priti Devi and the award was presented to Nouri by the guest of honour, Egypt’s former First Lady and 2010 prize judge, Mrs. Jehan Sadat.
First runner-up of the Main prize was presented by Dr. Sabry Abdel Aziz on behalf of Dr. Zaahi Hawass Deputy Culture Minister, to K-Mu Théâtre, a musical theatre group that uses drama to address the persecution of child witches in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zimbabwean installation artist Owen Maseko, was the second runner up for the Main prize for his piece ‘Gukurahundi’ about the atrocities in Zimbabwe, where people were killed by President Robert Mugabe’s special forces.
Theatre also featured strongly in the Youth category with United ACT (Anti-Child Trafficking), a refugee group from the border of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Thailand, claiming first prize.
Kazak author and poet Aron Atabek was awarded the 2010 Imprisoned Artist prize for his literary works, including ‘Nazarbayev’s Regime and Revolution’, which laments the lack of democracy in Kazakhstan.
Apart from the award ceremony and music festival, a number of activities took place in Cairo under the umbrella of 'Freedom of Create': a forum was held at the American University in Cairo on 24 November with the former First Lady of Egypt, Mrs. Jehan Sadat as the opening speaker joined on the panel by five other distinguished international female role models. On 26 November, a Comics Drawing workshop was held at Qirtassiya, Zamalek (Cairo)
Ongoing collateral activities include free film screenings celebrating 'Freedom to Create' 2010’s best film entries. Films are screened at the Rawabat Theatre.
29 November, 7pm:
Short Film: Takhabot (Heaving Unrest)
A modern expressionist music film portraying absurdity in modern Arabic society
Feature Film: Nobody Knows About Persian Cats
The inspiring story of two Iranian musicians who form a band and prepare to leave Iran shortly after being released from prison
6 December, 7pm:
Short Film: Escape
A moving documentary on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriage in the Kenyan Masai tribe
Feature Film: BAS! Beyond the Red Light
An inspiring, moving and educational film which raises awareness about the plight of sex trafficked Nepalese girls
13 December, 7pm:
Short Film: Voz Alta
The story of a memorial for the 40th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco student massacre in Mexico City literally and figuratively giving a voice to survivors.
Feature Film: Super Amigos
A hilarious and inspiring documentary film following five modern day super heroes in Mexico City as they fight for social justice
Rawabet Theater, Townhouse Gallery, Hussein El Me’Mar Pasha Street, off Mahmoud Basyouni Street, Downtown, Cairo.
Contact in Cairo, Egypt: Mohamed Khattab, Promoseven Weber Shandwick [email protected]