“Am Hamdi observes the rooms he passes as like it is a routine. A thick layer of dust, spider webs and old papers covers them. He puts his head in to some of the rooms to check them out. When he sees that they are untouched, he smiles.”
These are the first lines of our short fiction film, made in the Behna apartment. Mamoon Azmy and Sherif Sharkawy have been leading a workshop with a couple of the volunteers, trying to find a common perception of the place. Together we have gathered words, pictures, emotions and impresions from the stay, and we all agreed that the tall doors, the endless dust and mystery of the place is what we wanted to keep with us.
After a long process it resulted in a short film about the care-taker of Behna, Am Hamdi, who has been looking after Behna for the past several years, making sure that no one broke in and that the doors and windows kept wind and rain out from the archives. Making a short film about him seems like the perfect way to portray Behna, because he has been following our work from the start, and knows the place better than anyone.
Today nearly the whole group participated in the last scene of the film. We truly brought film back to Behna.
By Liv Mari Mortensen, Norway
After the fantastic new year’s party in El-Cabina the volunteers had a relaxing day in, bringing an end to orientation and preparation days before the hands on work and other elements of the project starts. During the day, the project’s staff put together a presentation of expression and art during the Egyptian revolution using a mix between story-telling and video. Youssef, Soliman, Heba and Rowan told their personal stories from the egyptian revolution, while focusing on the development of graffiti, music, freedom of expression, public street performances and the impact of art on the revolution. The volunteers really enjoyed this insight into the revolution from the perspective of our project’s theme, and Gudran’s volunteer coordinator Khaled El-Kaddal, was there to give the Alexandrian experience of the revolution as well.
Here are some of the videos we showed them:
Later in the evening, with the help of Gudran’s staff we put on a film screening at our campsite of Microhphone, a film by Ahmed Abdallah starring Khaled Abu El Naga, Hany Adel and Yousra El Lozy which follows the life of Khaled, a man who just returned from living abroad, working for Gudran, who tries to find his place back in his hometown Alexandria. The film is set, and shot in 2010, right before the revolution and explores the Alexandrian underground art scene. The award winning film is fiction, but inspired by many real life stories Gudran went through (along with apearances by several Gudran staff) in addition to featuring real characters from the Alexandrian independent art scene.