• Director’s Welcome

    What if, we woke up one morning and we looked around and there was no art in our lives anymore? Can we imagine how our lives would be if that were the case?

    What I would like you to do after reading this is to go into your room, close the door, the windows, switch off the lights, sit on the sofa or the bed, close your eyes and imagine.

    Imagine your life without music. Imagine not being able to listen to your favourite songs while driving, not attending your child’s end of year school concert, not dressing up to listen to your favourite symphony at the opera, or dressing down and letting loose at a rock concert. Imagine a life composed solely of the hum of conversations, the whirr of machines, and not a single musical note.

    Keeping your eyes closed, imagine a life devoid of images. You will not have a single photo of your loved ones who have passed, nor will you admire the painting your wife bought you as a birthday gift which hangs on the wall of your office. No more movie nights with your friends, no binge-watching TV series, and no prospect of experiencing the wonder and awe evoked by a moving work of art.

    Apply this exercise to literature, cooking, architecture, or any other field and allow yourself to imagine your existence in this dystopian artless world.

    Now open your eyes.

    Thankfully, we do not live in such a reality. Our world is pulsating with sound, colour, music, movement and texture, and our lives are all the richer for it. Art, and institutions and initiatives that promote and support it, do exist.

    But for them to continue to exist, we must realise the indispensible role art plays in our lives. These initiatives, of which D-CAF is one, exist because we don’t want our lives to be devoid of art, of the freedom, the dreams, the illusion, the love, the beauty, the risk, the uncertainty, the rage, the joy, and the endless range of other feelings and concepts that art infuses our lives with.

    We at D-CAF are grateful for your support over the past six years, because we would not be able to continue to exist without you, our audience, and we’d like to believe your lives would be just that bit duller, without us.


    Ahmed El Attar

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) is Egypt’s only international multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival* that takes place over three weeks in March-April each year, at multiple sites in Downtown Cairo.

Contact us at info@orientproductions.org

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