1-channel video, colour, sound, 9:41 min.
Screen, shredded paper, headphones, stool
06. - 15.3.2020
Foto: © Dominik Zietlow
Foto: © Patricia Jacomella Bonola
In 1989, Dr. Hassan Ragab re-introduced an ancient handicraft tradition in the Nile Delta, in Al-Quaramous, with the rediscovery of papyrus. The project was an opportunity to revive the work in the village and to enable the inhabitants to have a sustainable life. The future of the papyrus plant, its production in Egypt and the preservation of this heritage are currently threatened by the economic crisis and Western disinformation. In addition to the interest in the economic condition of al-Quaramous craftsmen, the video investigates the gap between the origin and current use of paper. Paradoxically, digitalization has not reduced paper consumption at all.
The video is divided into two parts and contrasts two realities: the colored part leads us to al-Qaramous, where families, despite the difficult economic situation, continue to produce papyrus by hand, to safeguard an ancient cultural heritage. The black and white part of the video documents my visit to ‹Pharaonic Village›, founded in 1955 by Hassan Ragad for educational purposes, and now, due to the excessive ticket price, it has become a fun park for tourists and a few privileged.