Workshop at Cairo Contemporary Dance Center CCDC, October 15-19, 2017 5 day workshop in studio and public space, involving video.

With Kaya Behkalam and Salma Abdel Salam, 

About the project:

“The Augmented Archive” is an experimental multimedia project for iOS and Android, that utilizes the city as an open (video) archive, adding virtual layers to the urban fabric via GPS, Augmented Reality and video streaming technologies. It allows users to record video and upload it at the exact site of recording, where it will be available as a virtual screen for others to watch or interact with. 

About the workshop:

In the 5-day-workshop we will use the “Augmented Archive” app and explore – in theory and practice – the potential of utilizing our bodies as analytic tools, to examine notions of history and trauma in relation to urban space. The recent years in Cairo have not only seen the public space turn into a political battle field but with it the body too; new forms of being together and articulating dissent out in the open were soon followed by increased surveillance, dominance and control, and the immanent physical perils of political and sexual violence. The changes and political developments of recent history can still partly be seen on the facades and in the streets of Cairo. Yet, the incisions and traumata many bodies and minds have endured remain mostly invisible. The archival fever of the immediate post-revolutionary years has been followed by a collective amnesia. With more and more traces being erased, and the urban space getting increasingly redesigned, we run the risk of losing our memories attached to it, may they be promising or painful. In this workshop we will probe Cairo’s public space with our bodies, using them as speculative archeological instruments, constructing and deconstructing momentary monuments. We will explore how to use our presence and our movements to uncover seemingly absent past and potential experiences and events. The video and audio recordings of our interactions will remain there in the streets, alleyways and squares as virtual footnotes, to be discovered and read later as a fragmentary narrative.

Required reading material:

– Diane Taylor, The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Durham: Duke UP, 2003), Chapter “The Archive and the Repertoire”, p16-33

– Andre Lepecki, Choreopolice and Choreopolitics: or the task of the dancer, TDR: Vol. 57/4, (Cambridge: MIT Press 2013), pp. 13-27

– Salma Abdel Salam, Un/Interrupted Formations, Choreographing Spaces of Gesticulation, Ibraaz, 30.03.2016,

Recommended reading material:

– Judith Butler, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly, (Cambridge/London: Harvard UP 2015), chapter 2: Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street