A multimedia book launch and performance celebrating the Egyptian Revolution with poetry, music, video, and soundscapes.
The People is Singular is a book launch and multimedia event exploring the Egyptian Revolution that will take place on January 25th, 2012. Based on the poetry chapbook of the same title by Andy Young with photography by Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, to be published in January 2012, the evening—planned on the one year anniversary of the revolution’s beginning—will be an interactive experience which celebrates the revolution that inspired the global uprisings still unfolding.
While the poems from the book will be performed, this is much more than a traditional book launch or poetry reading. The populist and multidimensional expression of poetry and revolution, particularly in our times, inspired a desire to create a more dynamic presentation of the work. Poet Andy Young is collaborating with experimental media artist Kourtney Keller to incorporate the use of video installation and projection, alluding to the pervasive role of media in Egypt’s revolution, an idea also explored in the poems. Preservation Hall sound engineer Earl Scioneaux is creating soundscapes for the poems, bringing in yet another dimension to experience the work.
Music, performed by legendary folk singer Tao Seeger, a third generation revolution/protest singer, and the vibrant and dynamic Sudanese-born Alsarah, will reflect influences from Egypt as well as South America, the Spanish Civil War, and the U.S. union movement. The global reach of the music will honor the world-wide scope of the uprisings which have been inspired, in part, by the enormous people power demonstrated, and ongoing, in Tahrir Square.
This will be a one-night only event, performed in the beautiful, new performance space Café Istanbul in New Orleans’ Healing Center. One of the motivations for creating a multimedia performance piece is to expand the audience for poetry, a long-time goal of the poet. By offering various ways to enter the lyric and narrative threads of the poems—visual, audio, even tactile—we hope to bypass the rather isolated position of poetry in our culture and allow the audience various sensory paths into the words. The performance space, before and after the “reading,” will also serve as an installation with interactive audio and visual pieces that will educate audience members about the Egyptian Revolution and invite them to experience some of the triggers and references in the poems. A reception with Egyptian sweets and other light fare will invite people to meet and talk about their experience (and to buy books!)
We hope you will care about this project because we all have reason to celebrate the courage to stand up for our rights; because this is a collaborative work created from the sheer love of the artists for their form, for revolution, for the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines; because this work honors and explores one of the most important, unanticipated, and inspirational events in recent history and the bravery of the Egyptian people; and because it will be an entertaining, unique, and inspiring event.
Here is the nitty-gritty: there are no funds to create this, and all artists involved are donating their work and efforts. That is why we are turning to you, gentle friends and funders. These are the things we would use your money for, should you be generous enough to give us some (and, honestly, we will be grateful for any amount):
- to print photos for display from the book, The People is Singular, by Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, whose perspective is a revolutionary participant.
- to pay for travel expenses for non-New Orleans based musician.
- to pay for various expenses needed for installation (screens, lights, projectors, etc.)
- to create an Egyptian-style feast to celebrate the revolution and feed those who care about it.
The amount we are asking will cover the costs of the performance. Anything we receive beyond that will be used to pay the creators of the book (poet and photographer) and the other artists and performers donating their work. Thank you for being interested enough to check out what we are doing. Please consider supporting us in a large or small way. We’d be so grateful, and we hope to see you in January. Please check out the following websites for more about the collaborators in the project:
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Exclusive updates on progress of project.Estimated delivery:
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A postcard with details of the show and a revolutionary poem by Andy Young.Estimated delivery:
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A prayer card, based on the traditional Catholic saint cards, with a beautiful photo of a praying revolutionary on one side and a poem based on the photo on the other.Estimated delivery:
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A ticket to The People is Singular performance in New Orleans on January 25th, 2012.Estimated delivery:
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A revolutionary primer/Arabic translation to explain contemporary Egyptian politics with Egyptian poet Khaled Hegazzi (in person or by Skype).Estimated delivery:
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A copy of the book The People is Singular, with poetry by Andy Young and photographs by Salwa Rashad.Estimated delivery:
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A signed copy of the book The People is Singular, with poetry by Andy Young and photographs by Salwa Rashad will be sent to you. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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One copy of Meena Magazine, a bilingual Arabic/English literary journal based in Alexandria, Egypt and New Orleans, LA edited by Khaled Hegazzi and Andy Young sent to you. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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Copy of The People is Singular or copy of Meena Magazine with international shipping. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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Signed copy of The People is Singular poetry/photography book, ticket to performance, and prayer card sent to you. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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Choice of banjo lesson with legendary folk musician Tao Seeger (i n person or by Skype) or an individual critique of up to 10 poems by poet Andy Young (in person or via email/mail). Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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Egyptian celebratory lamb feast, with lots of veggie options, a week after the performance (February 3rd) in New Orleans. You also get a signed copy of The People is Singular, and a ticket to the performance. Transportation to New Orleans not included. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
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Public or private poetry reading by Andy Young in location of your choice (U.S., higher price for international travel). You also get a signed copy of The People is Singular, and the prayer card. Name listed as supporter in program.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)