Monday, 7 April 2008


After a full 3-day program, the last workshop had a bit of slow start, perhaps due to the national strike that fell on the same day. Motivated in response to rising food-prices and lacking government response, the most glaring effect of the strike was the prominence of groups of soldiers at every street-corner.

Inside the CiC however, were no soldiers but hacktivist workshop participants further exploring the various uses of the open source-based Dyne:bolic operating system. After having been introduced to the image-editing program 'Gimp' the day before, this morning was spent fooling around with a fractal-image creator, word-editor, and others. Another interesting activity proved to be the browsing of Jaromil's hard-disk for new music. Finally, the group gathered around to watch, and perhaps learn from, Jaromil's attempts to encode one of the participant's videos (which after some a series of trials and errors succeeded).

With nightfall, the organisers of the project were released from their active-role as participants, most of them active in the Cairene arts-scene, now showed the audience some of their work. Singer and actress Lana Mushtaq showed both a short first film made by herself recently, as well as a movie she played a part in, 'From Within' (Minhum Feehum), directed by Maggie Morgan. Photograper Rana El-Nemr showed some of her work on Egyptian coloured balconies, while Malek Helmy talked about her inclusion in an earlier project by CiC, 'tales around the pavement', as well as some other work.

While all great things must come to an end, at least the end to 'Below the Sealevel' was celebrated with a worthy bang. In an informal meet&greet (& eat) the participants of the workshop, attendants of the lectures, program organisers and myself winded down from a succesful and packed 4 days of visual arts themed and open-source activities. Below are some pictorial accounts of the night, before it started getting too festive for camera-exposure. Next time in Amsterdam!