Archive for December, 2011

There are skyscrapers in Egypt

Friday, December 16th, 2011

An excerpt of my film-in-progress “Voices from the Revolution” (working title) was screened at Mizna’s 7th Twin Cities Arab Film Fest on November 10, 2011 along with many other great Arab filmmakers at the beautiful historic Heights Theatre where, rumor has it, the crystal chandeliers reign from Egypt. Although initially hesitant to show a work still in progress, it was an opportunity to see what resonates with people.

Mizna Film Festival Mizna Film Festival


I had a heckler, and perhaps in my tired state it didn’t phase me as much as it could have, or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that my heckler would have preferred to see a tourism video, either way he livened the discussion. Bless him for being so emotionally disturbed by my footage, as he felt this was not the time nor place to show “negative” visuals of the country he loves so much. Nor did he think I had an “authentic” voice as on several occasions he and his friends questioned my identity (which is ironic given the topic that dominated a panel discussion I was part of just hours before).




We are from Egypt, he said, and we hate Mubarak, and we love the Revolution! Where? Where do you come from? Where are these buildings? We have skyscrapers in Egypt!

His sentiment was clear, he felt I was somehow hijacking the revolution. He disliked my film and, I never thought I would say this but, I am so glad he did! While perhaps he misunderstood my intentions, he had a very strong reaction to the footage. And at the end of the day, any artist would wish for that.

photos by

Mizna Film Festival


Saturday, December 10th, 2011

New Media Art Festival
Nova Gorica / Gorizia, 2. – 9. december 2011
>>> catalogue here:

Gulsen Bal – visual culture theorist and curator. She is the Director, Head of Development of Projects and Programmes at Open Space – Zentrum fur Kunstprojekte in Vienna. Bal curated, published articles, participated in talks and held workshops in various places and venues in the U.K. as well as in Europe and Turkey.
BridA / Jurij Pavlica, Sendi Mango, Tom Kersevan – was created in 1996, when its members were studying at the Venice Academy of fine arts. Since then the BridA has developed a series of top-level artistic projects at an international level.

Participating Artists:

Heba Amin, Burak Arıkan, Miriam Bajtala, John Bell, Neno Belchev, Jorge Catoni, Andrea Dojmi, Lorenzo Bona, Karin Felbermayr, Alexander Gross, Marina Gržinić, Aina Šmid, Zvonka Simčič,, Wei-Ming Ho, Barbara Holub, Paul Rajakovics, Reese Inman, Sanela Jahić, Gavin Jocius, Sheridan Kelley, Kensuke Koike, monochrom, Alban Muja, Joseph Nechvatal, Alan Phelan, Irena Pivka, Brane Zorman/radioCona, Arjan Pregl, Christine Schörkhuber, Santiago Sierra, Owen Smith, Abby Stiers, Christian Streinz, Sissua Tarka aka Verina Gfader, Justin Taylor, Maciej Toporowicz, Arjan Vanmeenen