Yacoubian Building (film)
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Film Video
Artist: Marawan Hamed director and Emad Adeeb (b. 1955) producer.
Confronting Bodies: Egyptian Partiament; The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Date of Action: July 2006
Description of Artwork: The film, Yacoubian Building, depicts the story behind the Yacoubian Building in Cairo. The building was initially constructed as a luxury apartment building but, following the 1952 revolution, its wealthy (primarily foreign) residents fled and military officers and their families moved in. On the roof of the building are small rooms that were initially designed as storage spaces for the apartments. These storage rooms are now used as apartments for poor migrants from the countryside. Thus, now there is an entire neighborhood on the roof of the once luxury building.
The Incident: While the Egyptian Censorship Committee approved the film, 112 members of Parliament believe that several scenes of the movie should be censored because of their negative portrayal of Egypt. The Culture and Media Committee formed a committee to screen and comment on the film to report back to Parliament.
Results of Incident: The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights is concerned with the implications of Parliament's actions on Egyptian Freedom of Expression and Belief. The Egyptian Constitution provides both freedom of expression and freedom of art and literature. Although the criticisms of the Culture and Media Committee were harsh, the movie continued it's cinematic run.
Source: IFEX: International Freedom of Expression Exchange (www.ifex.org); Wikipedia; The Arab Washingtonian