Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo

Wael Shawky
Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012
HD video, color, sound, 58 min
Edition 7 + 2 AP

Exhibition history :
2012 Premiere Screening at dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany

Synopsis :
Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo is 58 minutes musical film where the script – that is based on Amin Maalouf’s writing – ¬†will be transformed into lyrics and sung by choirs of kids. The musical composing is driven by the traditional pearl fishing Bahraini music. ¬†

The actual filming will take place in White Desert (Western Desert, Egypt) and in Marseille. using tailor made marionettes, precisely hand crafted in glass and ceramic with handmade costumes crafted in lace, cotton, velvet and silk

The research and preparation leading up to the filmic work include the creation of drawings, production of photography, marionette designs, and written scripts.  

Filming toys is a form of observing cultural cliches and is reminiscent of surveillance societies where the exoticism of ‚Äėthe other cultures‚Äô is the performer. The topic of the Crusades is connected to cinema in its formal aspect; therefore its mythical space is vast and vague. Since many of its aesthetic values are Hollywood based, the use of marionettes is a cursor for cynicism, and radically against fashion.

Cabaret Crusades:The Path to Cairo is a mythic interpretation of the second phase of religiously sanctioned military expeditions by Western Christianity toward Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The plot based on the chronicles of the period between First and second Crusade (1099- 1149 AD) will feature the historical characters such as : Nur ad-Din Zangi, Rukn al-Din Mesud, Kilij Arslan, Sigurd I of Norway, Bernard of Clairvaux, Louis VII of France, Conrad III of Germany, Count Raymond Berenguer IV of Barcelona, Pope Eugene III. Bishop Albert of Pomerania, William II of Nevers and Ratibor I of Pomerania.

Cabaret Crusades:The Path to Cairo elaborates the historical period when the middle east political power was shifting from many different cities to endue in Cairo by the end of second Crusades. The major historical events will occur in: Edessa, Jerusalem, Tripoli, Antioch, Aleppo, Damascus, Mosul, Acre, and Cairo.  

1- The siege and fall of Edessa through; Battle of Harran (1104), Battle of Azaz (1125), the killing of Joscelin II (1131), the assassination of Nur ad-Din Zangi (1146).

2- The death of Kilij Arslan (1107)

3- The Norwegian Crusades (1107-1110)

4- The siege of Damascus (1146)  

5- The second battle of Dorylaeum (1147)

6- Capture of Lisbon (1147)

7- Council of Acre (1148)



One Trackback

  1. By Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades | The MAC March 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

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