War Stories, Language Games, and Struggle for Recognition
Located on the Nile Corniche, the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel reveals only a picture-window slice of Cairo. Guests of this year's Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre (CIFET) entered a security fortress: concrete barriers, bomb-sniffing dogs, metal detectors, and handbag searches. Inside, the cappuccinos were perfect; the sunset, through a double filter of pollution and tinted glass, looked magical. Some visitors wondered if this wasn't too sumptuous a place for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture to lodge the foreign guests it had invited for the festival's accompanying three-day seminar on "Challenges Facing the Independent Theatre and Threats to Its Survival." Having lived for a year (2001-2002) as a student in a rooftop flat in downtown Cairo, listening to a constant din of mosque loudspeakers and taxi horns, I appreciated the change of scene that came with being an invited seminar...
PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art - Volume 31, Number 2, May 2009 (PAJ 92), pp. 65-71
Volume 31, Number 2, May 2009 (PAJ 92) The MIT Press. 20th Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre , Cairo, Egypt, October 10-20, 2008.