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The Sawa Workshop at the New Museum

Ahmed El Shaer, still image from "Barcode", 2007.
Ahmed El Shaer, still image from "Barcode", 2007.

The Sawa Workshop: Video Art Screenings
7:30pm Thursday 28 August 2008
New Museum - 235 Bowery, New York NY

The widespread availability of low-cost video equipment may well have realized the ambitions of a generation of crossover media artists and activists who once championed a practice that moved freely between the aesthetic, expressive, and discursive possibilities of a cheaply reproducible electronic medium. And yet art video in its many guises today may well have become the rarefied stuff of the traditional Western fine art mediums -- flat screen displays hanging on the walls of galleries and collectors' homes like paintings. Activist and community oriented video then has becomes only one small, but well defined, piece of the wider field of contemporary media practice; the community video workshop, bringing together diverse groups of oftentimes underrepresented or underprivileged individuals for training in and practice of media making, is an important element to this socialized form, and a productive activity in which media artists still engage the world over.

This Thursday the New Museum's Museum as Hub program and the Townhouse Gallery of Cairo present The Sawa Workshop: Video Art Screenings at the New Museum's intimate fifth floor classroom space. This event will feature videos composed by local and refugee youth based in Cairo who received training at a community workshop organized by artists Ayman Ramadan and Aida Eltorie, and led by artist Ahmed El Shaer. The two organizers will be present to discuss their work following the screening.