The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is back, starting March 17th until April 8th, with a string of performances by artists from around the world.
Amidst regional political unrest, a certain group of artists came together to bring forth an idea that would transform the Downtown Cairo area into one large cultural hot spot.
Back in 2012, the founders' vision was to bring together emerging and avant-garde artists from around the world, in an attempt to enrich each other and the community by having them interact with the city in an unprecedented manner.
Arabstazy performing at D-CAF 2016
And that they did, with a plethora of different acts including musicians, dancers, theatre troupes, visual artists - amongst other disciplines, D-CAF was able to introduce to the capital a new concept, tackling and supporting different societal causes through events and workshops, held at different unique venues and locations within Downtown Cairo.
The past five years have been a dream come true for Egyptian contemporary art enthusiasts, a step forward in reviving Egypt’s previous glory as a once famous international hub for artists from around the world.
Every year since 2012, artists and audiences from around Egypt and from across the world were able to immerse themselves in an environment fostering artistic vision and collaboration. This year, performers from countries like France, UK, USA, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Syria and other Arab countries are set to appear to showcase their work alongside Egyptian artists.
We Are Not From Outer Space D-CAF 2012
At venues like the AUC’s GrEEK Campus, Falaki Theatre, Kodak Passageway (which was renovated by D-CAF themselves), the City of the Dead, Studio Emad ElDin, and many other historically significant venues, different artists came together to showcase their art, engaging the city and its residents in an extraordinary way.
This year is no different and it looks to be bigger than ever. D-CAF will continue to utilise those very same spaces - give or take a location or two - with a calendar that includes 38 events, 10 venues, with 19 performing bands and art companies.
Some of the highlights of this year’s schedule include Danish sampling based music production group Den Sorte Skole, who will be performing at the GrEEK Campus on the 24th. Also sure to be a stunning show is Egyptian theatre director Hani Sami’s interactive one man show, The Gap, is playing on March 31st and April 1st at the Falaki Theatre; an extra chance to make sure you don't miss it.
Outdoor Contemporary Dance piece by Dutch artist Joop Oonk will collaborate with the festival's Urban Visions Arts and Disability Program (which is currently at it’s third year) on March 31st at Sultan Qaitbey area in Cairo's 'City of the Dead' at 2 PM, and on the 1st of April at El Shawarby Street, Downtown Cairo at 2 PM. The festival's full schedule contains music, theatre, dance, film screenings, workshops, masterclasses, and roundtable events - that are too much to list here.
D-CAF has been a beacon for contemporary art and artists since its inception, and has cemented itself as an integral part of Egypt’s arts and culture scene. They have been leading the way in the cultural and artistic gatherings taking place in the city that possess substance, providing a forum for artists around the world to showcase their talents, and puts Egypt back on the map as a regional leader in arts and culture.