While we witness great changes in the political scene in Egypt and the Arabic Speaking Region since the Arab Spring has started, we witness great changes in the nature of art, and in the dynamics that govern artistic and cultural practices. We witness new economies being born, new markets for particular representations, new frames of presenting and representing, we witness the potential rise of censorship and violence towards artists, and the threat of actual violence a like we just saw in Tunisia, and we witness a redefinition of the term 'political'.
And, like every institution is comprised of people, and when people are interrupted by history they must question about their practices, their positions, and what they generate and contribute, HaRaKa's team spent the last year in research, structural development and understanding of the colossal moment, we are living in, without immediately responding to a transient nascent new market for the so-called 'political work' that is justified by the revolutions, and that commodifies the revolution, its meaning, its essence, its symbols.
With the birth of a New Political Reality, great dreams and great doubts rise to everyone's minds and hearts.
HaRaKa's team would like to announce that the way the project has been engaged in developing and pushing the boundaries of what movement, dance and performance are framed to be within our contemporary reality in Egypt and the Arabic Speaking Region, that the project shall continue to do even more so. With the birth of a New Political Reality HaRaKa promises to assess and respond to needs in the artistic scene in Egypt, regardless of setbacks or impediments and to constantly be informed about its practices through the ever-so-changing reality and the new identities that are being forged. HaRaKa promises to be engaged actively to defend freedom of expression and the presence of the body in the arts through collaboratively working with its local partners in Egypt and the Region.
It is with no doubt that the current moment is a challenge to the artist as a profession just as much as it is a challenge to the artist as a political subject. Yet, it is within the arts that we continue dreaming, even through moments of doubt. It is with arts that we assert on the importance of imagining and of rethinking reality and proposing alternative modes of seeing, of doing, and of thinking. It is the duty of artists to collectively be engaged with the current context, and to collectively produce systems of support to their practice, their colleagues and their community, and empower and inspire their communities.
HaRaKa announces its new interdisciplinary program for development and research that manifests in its largest international Dance festival that shall showcase work from Egyptian and Arab artists locally and internationally, a new pan-Arab archive project for Contemporary performative practices, a series of critical encounters taking places over tea, and a line of publications that work on generating a strong body of critical texts around contemporary movement based artistic practices in the Region.
With every great moment of change there are dreams and doubts. And, what we artists should do is to justkeep working, since artists deal with nothing but hardships in every context they operate within.