Focus on Wael Shawky: The Cabaret Crusades / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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28-30 DEC 2018

With English subtitles
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) | Kallirrois & Frantzi Str.
He is one of Egypt's most important visual artists. Mixing truth with fiction and childlike enthusiasm with an intellectual dogma, Wael Shawky uses marionettes to recreate the epic medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his film trilogy, “Cabaret Crusades”.
Entrance to the event is free and on a first come, first served basis.
The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before each event.
In parallel with the production of The Song of Roland on the OCC's Main Stage, Wael Shawky's The Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2015) are to be screened at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST). The trilogy recounts the Crusades from an Arab perspective, initially based on Amine Maalouf’s The Crusades through Arab Eyes. The three films are seen as one monumental work, yet each one of them has its own signature aesthetics, speech, music, and scenography. The first two parts of the trilogy were shown at the international Documenta 13 exhibition, the third part at the MoMA PS1 show and the international ArtBasel exhibition.


PROGRAMME
(Read a short description of each film below)

Thursday 28 December | 18:00
The Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File (HD video, sound, colour, 31΄49΄΄)
The Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo (HD video, sound, colour, 58΄)

Friday 29 December | 17:00 
The Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala (HD video, sound, colour, 120΄)

Saturday 30 December | 16:00 (the whole trilogy)
The Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File (HD video, sound, colour, 31΄49΄΄)
The Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo (HD video, sound, colour, 58΄)
The Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala (HD video, sound, colour, 120΄)


PARALLEL EVENT
Friday 29 December
After performance talk with Wael Shawky
Chaired by Katia Arfara, Artistic Director of the Theatre and Dance Department at the Onassis Cultural Centre

credits

The focus on Wael Shawky is curated by Katia Arfara.

The screenings are held in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST)



Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg and Beirut © Wael Shawky

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Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, 2010
Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File offers a view on the history of the Crusades, retracing events that unfolded over a period of four years (1096-1099) and played a key role in subsequent historical developments, shaking to the core the Arab world and its relations with the West.
Inspired by Amin Maalouf’s book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, the film is a translation of causes and effects of the religiously sanctioned military campaigns in the form of images based on a reconstruction of events seen through the eyes of those who had to confront the invasion. It provides a precise description of the places in the Middle East and Europe that formed the backdrop for the early Crusades. To bring these episodes alive, the production uses highly expressive 200-year-old marionettes from the Lupi collection in Turin. This gem of local Piedmontese tradition is perfectly suited for a contemporary and international reinterpretation of events. The marionettes are moved by clearly visible strings and don the costumes of the characters that were present in the Christian armies of Europe and in the Muslim armies during the conflicts. Though the subject is based on historical documents and facts, what emerges is a surreal and mythical atmosphere that blends drama and cynicism, telling a story of remote events that could hardly be more topical today.

Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg and Beirut © Wael Shawky, produced by Theater der Welt, Essen in collaboration with Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella

Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012
Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo is 58 minutes musical film where the script - that is based on Amin Maalouf's writing -  is transformed into lyrics and sung by choirs of kids. The musical composing is driven by the traditional pearl fishing Bahraini music.  
The actual filming takes place in White Desert (Western Desert, Egypt) and in Marseille, using tailor made marionettes, precisely hand crafted in glass and ceramic with handmade costumes crafted in lace, cotton, velvet and silk
Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo is a mythic interpretation of the second phase of religiously sanctioned military expeditions by Western Christianity toward Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The plot is based on the chronicles of the period between First and Second Crusade (1099- 1149 AD) features the historical characters such as, Nur ad-Din Zangi, Rukn al-Din Mesud, Kilij Arslan, Sigurd I of Norway, Bernard of Clairvaux, Louis VII of France, Conrad III of Germany, Count Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona, Pope Eugene III. Bishop Albert of Pomerania, William II of Nevers and Ratibor I of Pomerania. The film elaborates the historical period when the Middle Eastern political power was shifting from many different cities to conclude in Cairo by the end of Second Crusade.

Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg and Beirut © Wael Shawky, produced by Alcime, Festival International du Film d’Aubagne
 
Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala, 2015
Wael Shawky’s Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala is the third and final part of the Crusades trilogy. The Secrets of Karbala is a musical mixture of traditional Arab music (Le Fijiri from the Gulf, Egyptian Sufi enshad, Iraqi Shia Radoud voices) and electronic music. The plot goes back and forth on the historical timeline from the 7th century to the 12th century. The film begins with the story of Noureldin Al Zenki, where the second part had ended. It follows the history of Salahuddine, Al Zenki’s ambassador to Egypt, and deals with the historical period that takes place between the Second Crusades (1145–1149) and the Third Crusades (1189–1192). The plot tackles the shift in power in Egypt from Shiite to Sunni, and therefore marking the deep divisions between the two sects during this period.
The characters in The Secrets of Karbala were played by translucent glass marionettes, with a clay stage set providing the background for the narrative. Shawky produced individual marionettes out of Murano glass, creating surreal beings- a combination of humans, unknown animals and extra-terrestrial creatures- all showing the grotesque brutality of war and aggression.  The film portrays this historical period as a mythical time blending religious gravitas and dramatic fantasy, while emphasizing the theatrical and staging component of writing history.

Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg and Beirut © Wael Shawky, produced by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
PARALLEL EVENTS

28 - 30 Dec 2017

20:30 Main Stage
Early bird from 31 OCT 2017 until 27 NOV 2017: 14, 18 €

Full price: 7, 8, 12, 20, 25 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 7, 10, 16, 20 €
Groups 10+ people: 6, 9, 14, 18 €
Νeighbourhood residents: 7 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 € | Companions: 10 €

Group ticket reservations at groupsales@sgt.gr
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THEATRE

Focus on Wael Shawky | The Song of Roland: The Arabic Version

29 Dec 2017

20:30 Main Stage

TALKS & THOUGHTS

After performance talk with Wael Shawky

sponsoring / partnerships

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Hospitality sponsor

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RELEVANT EVENTS

28 - 30 Dec 2017

20:30 Main Stage
Early bird from 31 OCT 2017 until 27 NOV 2017: 14, 18 €

Full price: 7, 8, 12, 20, 25 €
Reduced, Friend & Groups 5-9 people: 7, 10, 16, 20 €
Groups 10+ people: 6, 9, 14, 18 €
Νeighbourhood residents: 7 €
People with disabilities & Unemployed: 5 € | Companions: 10 €

Group ticket reservations at groupsales@sgt.gr
BUY NOW

THEATRE

Focus on Wael Shawky | The Song of Roland: The Arabic Version