In his three-part video project “Cabaret Crusades”, the Egyptian artist Wael Shawky reveals the legacy of the medieval Christian crusades in the Arabic world today. Handmade puppets re-enact events of the 11th and 12th century – a controversial topic in view of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Shawky presents an Arabic perspective on the cultural history of a region whose future is presently on negotiation table. Disregarding the constraints of ideology, Shawky focuses instead on dialogue between Europe and the Middle East.
The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen has presented the complete “Cabaret Crusades” trilogy for the first time in Europe. The exhibition presented a selection of the marionettes and props used in the film, accompanied by a diverse programme highlighting the current situation in Egypt. The project’s artistic director Marion Ackermann hoped to detach the Western view of Egypt from its Eurocentric perspective and find new forms of museum practice which is better suited to responding to globalisation and internationalisation.
Artistic director: Marion Ackermann
Curator: Doris Krystof
Artist: Wael Shawky (EG)