“Where the banyan tree meets the nile,” a multimedia installation and artist talk by Roshan Ganu

We invite you to attend “Where The Banyan Tree Meets The Nile,” a Multimedia Installation and Artist Talk by our artist-in-residence, Roshan Ganu, on Thursday, 21st of December at 7 pm at Medrar for Contemporary Art.

Native to the Indian subcontinent, a Banyan Tree grows in the heart of Zamalek in Cairo. Its roots were carried to Egypt from India by Khedive Ismail in 1868. Originally from Goa, India, currently living in the United States, and now traveling in Egypt, the Banyan Tree forms a metaphor for immigrant people such as the artist, Roshan Ganu. She says, “When we carry our roots with us, how do we instill a sense of belonging in a new land? What happens when the Banyan Tree meets the River Nile?” Through immersive projection, sound, and darkness, Ganu welcomes the viewer into a place of narrative reflection and the feeling of being itinerant.

At the Artist Talk, Ganu will share her experiences being an immigrant person, addressing the circumstances of aloneness and longing this identity brings. Through her work she proposes a perspective, “Can narrative mythology and storytelling become an alternative way of building a sense of place and home around us when we are confronted by a new land?’

Roznama 9

Roznama is an annual competition and exhibition for contemporary visual art for Egyptian artists, its ninth edition is organised by Medrar for Contemporary Art and ARD Art Institution.

The competition aims to encourage creative contemporary practices of young artists below the age of 35 by highlighting and awarding the outstanding genuine works, beyond their discipline or medium.

This edition includes 33 Artists, and the exhibited artworks will be displayed at 5 venues between Cairo and Alexandria.

Exhibition Timing

  • from 1:00 – 9:00 PM at Medrar for Contemporary Art, ARD Art Institution, and Tahrir Cultural Centre TCC (Falaki Gallery), every day except Fridays.
  • from 3:00 – 9 :00 PM at B’sarya for Arts, except Saturdays and Fridays
  • from 11:00 – 7:00 PM at Wekalet Behna, except Saturdays and Fridays

Prizes

  • Artist in Residency for 1 months in Steigenberger Resort in Hurghada provided by ADD Art for artist Mona Essam Eldin
  • Artist in Residency for 3 months at Tahrir Culture Centre provided by Tahrir Culture Centre for artist Mohey Eldin Yahia
  • Art Residency in Germany awarded by Goethe Institut – Cairo for artist Mohamoud Talaat
  • Artist in Residency for 1 month in Switzerland provided by Pro Helvetia Cairo – Swiss Arts Council for artist Amir Abd Elghani
  • Language scholarship in an acknowledged institution in Egypt for the equivalent of up to 30,000 EGP provided by Ubuntu Art Gallery for artist Hana Osama
  • 10,000 EGP cash prize provided by Gypsum Gallery for artist Sara Younis
  • 10,000 EGP in purchase prize provided by Alwan Bookstore for artists: Shaza Mostafa and Ahmed Yasser
  • Prize provided by Contemporary Image Collective (CIC) for artist Hana Osama

Roznama 9 Parallel Program

This year’s edition of Roznama will hold a parallel program alongside the main competition and exhibition.

The accompanying program will include a series of talks, panels, and round tables, opening a channel between established, upcoming, and exhibiting artists and art practitioners to freely voice and share their standpoint and practice.

This format offers exposure and insight into the participants’ productions, with room for individuals and groups in the field to collectively discuss and share their take on their relation with their art, society, and art institutions in the current day, upholding the practice of past editions of accepting both conventional and experimental art forms and narratives.

Accommodating inquiry through the setting of talks, whether among the participating artists themselves, with specific artists and projects related to the exhibited artworks, or expanding on the contemplative process of the jury members selecting bodies of work for Roznama 9, as well as panels supplying the discernment and observations of professionals, academics, curators, and cultural workers from various backgrounds regarding the selected projects.

The program seeks to pay attention to the audience as well, understanding the value of the crowd/public input and their link to the visual contemporary works as they all together, the artists, art works, and audience, morph and interact with the surrounding environment, which is the drive behind including round tables within the program, supplying a level plane for discussions.

The program aims at presenting a beneficial and supportive series of events complementing the central exhibition and competition


A TALK WITH MEENA IBRAHIM

Meena Ibrahim, the award-winning animator, shares his personal experience as the animation supervisor in some of the highest-grossing blockbusters of the 21sth century. The talk is followed by a Q&A session.

DIGITALLY DIVIDED: ON DATA AND DIVISIVENESS – ARTIST LECTURE BY KATHERINE BEHAR

Know the artist!
Katherine Behar is an interdisciplinary artist and critical theorist of new media whose works exploring gender, race, class, and labor in contemporary digital culture her work appeared throughout North America and Europe.

She is known for projects that mix low and high technologies to create hybrid forms that are by turns humorous and sensuous.

Pera Museum in Istanbul presented Katherine Behar: Data’s Entry | Veri Girişi, a comprehensive survey exhibition and catalog, in 2016.
Additional solo exhibitions include Backups (2019), E-Waste (2014, catalog/traveling), and numerous others collaborating as “Disorientalism.”

Currently, Behar is developing an ambitious interactive robotic installation, Anonymous Autonomous, which received work-in-progress solo exhibitions at Robert Morris University and University of Michigan and will premiere in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Beall Center for Art and Technology in 2024.

Behar is the editor of Object-Oriented Feminism, the coeditor of And Another Thing: Nonanthropocentrism and Art (with Emmy Mikelson), and the author of Bigger than You: Big Data and Obesity.

Fellowships and residencies include MacDowell, Santa Fe Art Institute, Nida Art Colony, Pioneer Works, Art Journal, Wassaic Project, Franklin Furnace, and others. Behar is based in Brooklyn and is Associate Professor of New Media Arts at Baruch College, CUNY.

Entry is free. First-come, first-served basis is applied due to the space limited capacity

TALK WITH VR ARTIST YASMIN ELAYAT

Talk with VR artist Yasmin Elayat 

Date: Sunday, 23rd of January from 8 pm (1 hour) 

Where: FB room and FB live 

As part of a series of events feeding into the launch of Medrar’s XR program, we have invited Emmy-award winning immersive director Yasmin Elayat for an online talk about her work and experience in creating new media and immersive productions. Two of her major works – The Changing Same (episode 1), 2021 and Zero Days VR, 2017 will be available to watch on our VR headsets at Medrar on 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of January 2022 – from 1pm to 6pm.

To enjoy the VR screenings and join the online talk and Q&A in the FB room register in the form below.

The talk will be streamed live on Medrar’s FB page. 

About Yasmin Elayat: 

Yasmin Elayat is an Emmy-award winning immersive director whose work pushes the boundaries of immersive narrative and participatory experiences. Yasmin is Co-Founder at Scatter, an immersive entertainment and software company, where she heads content, production and marketing initiatives.  Yasmin’s body of work spans new media documentaries, immersive experiences, site-specific and large-scale installations. Yasmin directed the Emmy award-winning Zero Days VR (Sundance 2017), a documentary about cyber warfare and the Stuxnet virus. She co-directed Blackout, an immersive documentary inviting New Yorkers to share their stories in their own voice, and co-created 18DaysInEgypt. 

Yasmin’s work has been exhibited at various festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, SIGGRAPH, Festival de Cannes, and the World Economic Forum.

ARTIST TALK: NIKOLAS CHASSER SKILBECK

Nikolas Chasser Skilbeck’s work offers a singular vision into a pictural world of “poetic strangeness”. Through different devices (HD led screen, mapping on buildings, installation, hologrammes) and with a strong inspiration from art and film history, his videos share their different experiences of time and take us into a contemplative universe.

Nikolas Chasser Skilbeck will present the work created during his residency at the Fayoum Art Center in Tunis Village.

The residency was organized by the CCC OD art centre in France with the help of the Institut français d’Égypte in Cairo and was held last October.

15th of December, 6.30pm @ Medrar.

Still Frame from:
Lake Qarun
4K Video, 7’18”
Nikolas Chasser Skilbeck 2019

ROZNAMA STUDIO PROGRAM IN COLLABORATION WITH D-CAF

Roznama Studio Program 
In Collaboration with D-CAF 

In November 2017, Medrar, in collaboration with jury members, issued a statement explaining the reasons behind the cancellation of the sixth edition of the Roznama competition. D-CAF responded to the statement by inviting Medrar to structure its visual arts program in 2018. The conversations between Medrar and D-CAF built on a shared interest to support Egyptian artists and facilitate the existence of more spaces for sustainable artistic production within our shared local contexts.

Ahmed Badry, Mohamed Abdelkarim, and Nour El Safoury have been invited by Medrar to design and run the program over a period of six months. Fellows in the program will engage together in a space that aspires to contextualize artistic practice within a critical, theoretical framework that supports the making of new projects. The program is structured around a series of individual and group exchanges, working groups, and visits from and to artists and academics. It supports production and defrays some of the costs entailed in participating through offering a symbolic scholarship and studio working spaces.

 About the program 

The program relies on several intersecting lines of inquiry. Together, they explore the situatedness of the artist within her or his surrounding environments and contexts, including matters such as language and material, history and power, and notions around labour and art. We will re-question aesthetic concepts such as beauty, originality, authenticity, and uniqueness by appropriating them within a speculative and investigative artistic process.

Over the period of six months, participants will engage in a number of activities that intersect with and feed into the artistic process. These include writing, watching, listening, tasting, moving, experimenting with materials, and site visits. The program includes both internal collaborators who will work together throughout the period of the program as well as a group of external advisors whom every participant will consult throughout the six months. Two group criticism sessions, to whom different visitors will be invited, will form the structuring backbone of this program and give it direction.

Artists Weekly Sessions


In a series of 15 consecutive sessions, 15 contemporary artists presented their work to an audience eager to know more on the artists and their work in Medrar’s space. region. The idea here is to promote a new and  lateral way of disseminating information between  artists, as opposed to the more traditional vertical structure where information is “passed on” from established artists to younger ones.