Egypt/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.1 Trends and figures

Audiences of (both public and private) museums and shows are not offered any useful information about exhibits, neither on small cards attached to exhibits, nor on poster posted on walls nor in guidelines introducing the exhibit’s nature, its creator and the school or trend he/she adheres to. An insufficient guideline is offered by the Opera House, though this absolutely must not be the case since its original name “the cultural educational centers” assumes that it educates artists and audiences as well.

As for kid audiences, they are paid some attention in summers, as museums receive them to paint or produce imitated patterns of the displayed showpieces, and accompany them once a week to museums in order to introduce them to their cultural and artistic heritage. On the other hand, schools have no longer been interested in accompanying students to museums since school tours destinations have become amusement parks.

The Egyptian Museum presented regular lectures on Pharaonic civilization, but the project was stopped.

The audience is paid no attention. Many museums don’t open on Fridays, which are the weekends in which families could go in cultural tours. However, the Egyptian Museum opens on Fridays to close only at noon prayer.

Until 1990 and the state is dominating culture. however, the first festival for free theatre groups was established in October this year declaring the emergence of an independent artistic movement started by the free groups which was followed by independent music groups, and finally by an independent cinema. This phenomenon though has not been turned into a trend yet, has invaded the artistic scene due to that arbitrary and unorganized nature of emergence and then progress. An existence manner that if to disprove anything, it will be its emergence depending on primary decision opposing for example to the official exciting art trend, traditional production methods or immobile show places, especially that it has not put forth any new alternative whether in form or content. This movement seems to appear as a result of being unaccepted within the official context as the state has never recognized these groups regarding them as nonconformists, though they have never draw away from it. Represented by Artistic Profession Union and limiting its sponsorship to artistic institute graduates (and extras!), the official institution, considers the independent as a group of amateurs even if they have been practicing theatrical work for years.

Not surprising that the state has not recognized these independent groups since they themselves partially stand behind this situation “the phenomenon” not being translated into a trend. No associations nor unions nor connection they sought to unite and allow them to acquire the legal entity which enables them to present more flexible and influential works.

Undoubtedly, the above mentioned reasons prevented these groups from being united into an efficient and effective “trend”, though they are of a numerous increasing number. Consequently, no figures of these dispersed groups are available, especially that they rapidly 

Chapter published: 07-04-2016