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Egypt's First Comix Week

Egypt's first ever national event dedicated to the art of comic books and graphic novels kicks off today...

Egyptians comic lovers have reason to celebrate, as the first edition of Between Cadres (BECA) Egypt Comix week is set to launch today! Taking place across Cairo and Alexandria between 22nd and 27th of September is Egypt's first large scale event dedicated to comic books. Organised by the Goethe and French institutes, Safsafa publishing house, and with the support of the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, Comix week aims to highlight and promote the art in Egypt.

Egyptian artists have long been considered some of the pioneers of comics and caricatures in the region. Pioneers like Mohieddine Ellabad (1940-2010) and Ahmed Ibrahim Hegazy (1936-2011) were beloved and respected in their art. Their contributions will be missed, however with the creation of Comix week, Egypt is set to usher in a new wave of artists into the medium.

Comic by Mohieddine Ellabad 

With multiple venues participating, both Cairenes and Alexandrians get the opportunities to catch a variety of workshops, lectures, exhibition showcasing artists from Egypt, Germany and France. However, there is no telling if comics will be scrutinised or banned with the same kind of policies that ruled Egypt before the 2011 revolution. In 2008, Magdi Al-Shafei created Egypt's first Egyptian graphic novel entitled Metro, which explored, using dark images, the poverty and corruption under Mubarak. Under Article 178 of the Penal Code El-Shafei was fined LE5,000 and his graphic novel remains banned until this day.

Schedule:

Monday 22 September

4-7pm: The opening ceremony followed by three lectures on the comic scenes in Egypt, Germany and France

7-9pm: Gathering of artists and distributors (prior registration is required)
French Institute: 1 Madraset Al-Hoqouq Al-Ferensiya, off of Qasr Al-Eini St., Mounira, Cairo

Tuesday 23 September

7.30-10pm: Three lectures on the comic scenes in Egypt, Germany and France
El-Cabina, 11 Saint Saba Street, Alexandria

7pm: Opening of exhibition of the works of Egyptian cartoonists Fawaz and Michel Maalouf. (exhibition runs until 27 September)
Hotel Viennoise, 11 Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Downtown Cairo

Wednesday 24 September

7-9pm: Discussion on translating comics
Al-Balad Cultural Center, 31 Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Downtown, Cairo

Thursday 27 September

4-10pm: Book signing and exhibition
Hotel Viennoise, 11 Mahmoud Bassiouny Street, Downtown Cairo

7pm: Roundtable discussion with artists from France and Germany
Goethe Institute: 5 Al-Bustan Street, Downtown, Cairo

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