Archive

16 August until 17 November 2013
Cairo
New Testimonies from an ongoing Revolution

The exhibition revolves around the political and social awakening of a generation in Egypt. That process became visible to the public when the mass protests began on Tahrir Square in Cairo on 25 January 2011, and is presently manifested in a new wave of protests and Mohamed Mursi’s overthrow. At the same time, the show examines the role of images and the new digital networks which played a part in initiating the rebellion as well as in recording it and spreading it around the world. Egyptian artists, photographers, activists and curators were involved in planning the exhibition, which features shots by foreign and Egyptian news agency photographers – the classical protagonists of journalistic coverage –, but also a Twitter wall, video portraits of eyewitnesses, video recordings and photos made by activists and “civilian journalists” published on media portals such as Flickr, and documents collected by artists, having been created as means of expressing opinions, influencing the course of events, preserving memories, commemorating victims and bearing testimony. On the one hand, the exhibition sheds light on the omnipresence of digital observation, the livestream of the revolution, and the new forms of dissemination and alternative news reporting by way of communication platforms and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Yet the show is also concerned with the circulation of these images, their presence in the urban realm, the role they play on banners, magazine covers, graffiti, etc. Their exploitation in the struggle for the exclusive right to interpret the events is indicative of their power and the resistive force that is ascribed to them. The exhibition provides insights into the liberation movements taking place in the Arab world and accompanies a new chapter in the history of imagery. The presentation has an experimental format and adopts the open-endedness of political processes as a formal principle. For the Hamburg venue, the exhibition has accordingly been brought up to date to include photos and tweets that preceded the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi and accompany the political developments on an on-going basis.

An exhibition of the Museum für Photographie Braunschweig and the Museum Folkwang, sponsored by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, developed in cooperation with the Goethe Institut.

Ill.: Women march to the Press Syndicate, Cairo, 20 December 2011, photo: Aly Hazzaa