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TRACKS OF CAIRO
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Tracks of Cairo is a video road trip through the wide ranging music scene of Egypts 18 million capital in 2011, the year when the uprisings of the »Arab World« started.
Listen to the sounds, the hopes and the disappointments of different cairene musicians, with diverse musique styles and backgrounds. See and listen to Fathy Salama, Mohamed Mounir, Wust el Balad, Dina El Wedidi, The Choir Project, Nas Makan, Maryam, Egyptronica, Mascara, Bikya and even more.
This film wants to disperse the music from this courageous artists, so that their message can be heart.
»What politics failed to do, art can do « (Salam Youssri, art director of the Choir Project).
Artists: Fathy Salama, Mohamed Mounir, Wust el Balad, Hany Adel, Nancy Mounir, Dina El Wedidi, The Choir Project, Salam Youssri, Nas Makan, Makan, Ahmed El Maghraby, Maryam Saleh, Egyptronica, Mascara, Bikya, Mahmoud Refat, Dor el Awal, Eftekasat, Shaaby DJ,Shehta Karika, Enraged, Ganoub Studio, Ally Salem and even more.
A film by Alexander Brief and Johannes Roskamm
Research: Alexander Brief
Camera Editing: Johannes Roskamm
Sound Recording: Evelyn Adam, Max Solinger
Chronic: 25.01.2011 After years of silence, one of the greatest rallies of oppositional groups encouraged by the national uprising in Tunisia starts on January 25, 2011, the “national police day”, in Cairo and other parts of Egypt. Motivated by a Facebook initiative, which has declared the “day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment”, it ist mainly young Egyptians, among them many women, who demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak In the course of the day, the protests, initially peaceful, turn into clashes between protesters and police.
26–27.01. 2011 In the ensuing days again hundreds of people take to the streets and are undeterred by a ban on demonstration. The police use nightsticks and tear gas. The violence increases.
28.01.2011 On Friday, January 28, over 100.000 people crowd the streets. After the Friday Prayers heavy confrontations break out between the police, who use tear gas and rubber sticks, who are largely peaceful. Nevertheless in the evening hours protesters succeed in overrunning the police, who then pull out completely from the streets of Cairo. The Tahrir Square becomes the centre of protests. The military enters during the night and is celebrated by protesters with the shout “People and army belong together”. No more confrontations happen. Thousands of people hold out on Tahrir Square, despite the imposed night curfew in the night. The government completely paralyzes internet and mobile communications.
29.01.2011 Police have vanished from the streets of Egypt and have also been removed from most prisons and police stations. Throughout the land armed gangs arise and try to destabilize the political situation. Cairo residents barricade their houses and organize their own neighbourhood watches. Mubarak tries to calm down his critics by reorganizing the government. The opposition (demonstrators on Tahrir Square are not impressed by these measures and don’t deviatefrom their demands for Mubarak’s resignation) is not impressed by these measures and does not deviate from its demand for Mubarak’s resignation. The protests on Tahrir Square go on. Meanwhile the death toll in Cairo arises to about 100 people.
30-31.01.2011 After the protests have spread throughout whole Egypt and lootings have also increased, the army enters the bigger cities of the land. As a demonstration of power two jet fighters fly low over Cairo, accompanied by several military helicopters. The armed forces assure not to shoot on protesters.
01.02.2011 The opposition calls for “march of millions”. Over 250.000 people gather on Tahrir Square and demand Mubarak’s resignation. He responds with the concession that he would not run for re-election in September.
02.02.2011 Violence escalates in Cairo. On Tahrir Square anti-government protesters are attacked by Mubarak supporters and bought rowdies. On camels and horses they ride into the crowd, whielding sticks, rocks and fire bombs. The fighting in the streets continues until late night. Representatives of national and international media are specifically targeted. The army does not intervene. It protects only important buildings such as administrations and the Egyptian Museum.
03.02.2011 Violent street-battles break out over and over again. Shots ring out, buildings are in flames, numerous people die. At last soldiers establish a buffer-zone between the hostile groups. – But that does not end the violence. Again, Mubarak makes an announcement on state television. He refuses his resignation by claiming that otherwise Egypt would be threatened by chaos, anarchy as well as the assumption of power by the islamistic Muslim Brotherhood.
04.02.2011 The situation calms down somewhat. On the declared “Day of Departure” hundreds of thousands of people gather on Tahrir Square to enforce Mubarak’s resignation. Anticipated excesses fail to materialize. The US and Europe, having so far avoided to take a clear stand, now begin exert diplomatic pressure on Mubarak, but without demanding his immediate resignation.
05-09.02.2011 The following days are marked not only by protest rallies, but also by political. The cabinet is newly filled and the sons of Mubarak are losing their political positions (within the NDP.) Unimpressed, Mubarak still insists on his claim to power. Meanwhile thousands of people are camping on Tahrir Square, building a small tent-city. The situation in Cairo stabilizes somewhat.( For the first time since January 25, some banks and shops reopen. The night time curfew persists.)
10.02.2011 The day is marked by an exuberant mood on Tahrir Square. Everybody expects the resignation of Mubarak, who has announced a speech for the night on state television. But Mubarak remains! On Tahrir Square the speech is received with fury and frustration.
11-12.02.2011 February 11 becomes the day of jubilation. In the afternoon vice-president Suleiman announces Mubarak’s resignation and that he has handed over the power to the Army Council. A celebration beyond description breaks loose all over Cairo. Mubarak has left Cairo and gone by plane to Sharm el Sheikh. The barricades on Tahrir Square are removed. Many citizens help cleaning the square and the whole city. To maintain the pressure for reforms, further protests are announced by oppositional groups. The new military rulers announce far-reaching reforms, a change of the constitution as well as arrangements for new elections and promise to honor all international treaties. According to the latest figures 840 people have lost their lives in these conflicts.
ONE YEAR LATER
In December 2011 the first free democratic Parliamentary elections in Egypt were held. Since the resignation of former president Mubarak the military council SCAF executes the official duties. Following the announcement of the parliamentary election results the moderate Muslim Brotherhood holds 40 percent and the ultra-conservative Salafis gained 30 percent of the total votes. SCAF announced that, until the Presidential elections, which are held in June 2012, the military council would be replaced by civilian rule.
Nonetheless, a missing transitional constitution, the complicated election system, and the lack of preparation time turned the event into an election farce. This procedure got heavily criticised from all angles but particularly by all the established and newly emerging democratic groups. The public statements concerning veto rights and plans for financing given out by the SCAF before the elections, show clearly that the aim of the Military Council is to preserve power and privileges, and not the promised democratication.
Since the resignation of Mubarak the military council repeatedly promised to meet the demands made by the »January 25th Movement«. Yet, such talking does not reflect SCAF’s actions. Between Oct. and Dec. 2011, more than 80 people got killed during the brutal suppression of ongoing protests. According to Amnesty International, Human Rights violation even increased within the ten months of SCAF rule. Torturing prisoners remains normal procedure and more than 12.000 civilians got tried in front of the military court, instead of a civilian one.
In order to silence his increasing number of critics General Tantawi - SCAF leader and former Minister of Defence under Mubarak - searched several offices of national and international civil society- and human rights organisations, based on the false assertion that such organisations receive illegal financial support from abroad. Women are specifically targeted and purposely insulted by SCAF employees. Despite all critics, Tantawie stated that SCAF would keep fighting the protests on Tahrir Square with intransigent rigidity.
Website made by movimientos (Juliane Wilcken / Johannes Roskamm)