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Allam and Dia at Medrar for Contemporary Art’s offices and workshop space in the Saida Zeinab neighbourhood of Cairo.

November 19, 2012

Medrar for Contemporary Art

Founding Members: Mohammed Allam and Mohammed Abdelkarim, later joined by Dia Hamed
Focus: Medrar is an experimental platform for young emerging artists based in Egypt. Medrar founded and curates the Cairo Video Festival, an annual event held in tandem with their open source software lab series of workshops for emerging artists, Open Lab Egypt. With year-round exhibitions pairing video art with documentary pieces, Medrar often places in question mainstream media reporting on the Arab world, and the parameters of the Egyptian art scene. is a YouTube channel featuring contemporary arts and culture news from Egypt and the Arab region, using the Arabic language (no small feat in a scene where most art and culture publications and news are in English). features both formal events and informal gatherings between artists.
Activities: By using both fictional and documentary video, Medrar stakes a claim to an authentic voice that is playful and inventive when presenting Arab perspectives on stereotyped issues. In addition to, and the workshop and festival initiatives, exhibitions include Within the Region (2009), a traveling exhibition of short documentaries and experimental video art pieces by emerging Arab artists/filmmakers, addressing local/regional/global issues from insider perspectives. The aim is to address: “[Arab] ideological, political and cultural being, striving to depict different fragments of the reality of their being, in contrast to the stereotypical ways in which they are perceived.”
Active: 2005 – Present

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