Second movement: Birds watching


5:26 mins, HD, Single channel



Second movement: Birds watching” a video that introduces a state of reconciliation and homogenization between Classic music and “Mahraganat” music. 

It takes the decision to ban “Mahraganat” music under the accusation of "spoiling the public taste”- a type of singing and music that mixes techno and folk music that appeared recently in Egypt - as a point of departure that reflects the relation of power and authority with art. While calling Beethoven's character as an iconic value of classical music along with his letter “Immortal beloved”, the video tries to engage him in conversation with the music and lyrics of this emerging music. It attempts to break boundaries and rules being put on recent contemporary metamorphosis.  


The work questions the role of entities such as syndicates and media channels in the dispute to extend influence and impose control. Music emerging from marginalized and poor social classes -vernacular and deeply rooted from its context- that own its special performative dancing was able to go beyond and find their audience outside the censorship established by those parties.


The video includes found footage that presents two narratives; one represents the state of merging between Beethoven and Mahraganat and the other is the narrative of official authorities.



A film commissioned by BOZAR/ Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels in the context of the project call "Beethoven World Theatre" launched by BOZAR for the exhibition "Hotel Beethoven" organized with the support of the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media.”

 © 2020 by Rania Atef 

 Cairo, Egypt

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     Rania ATEF