Welcome to the Lost & Found archive. Since 1997, over 200 sessions of stray images and sound have been organised. Artists, writers, scientists and musicians present work in progress, experiment or present work that doesn't fit into their oeuvre (yet). A specific and unique stage for diverse and hybrid works which don't fit comfortably into galleries or museums.
architect, photographer, researcher (EG), website
When Heba was ten, her great grandmother, the chanteuse Na'ima al-Misriyya, died. Heba has a view memories of her and inherited her bedroom furniture. After returning from Canada to Egypt in 2000, Heba looked into the family history and discovered her great grandmother, the matriarch yet the black sheep of the family, forgotten by her audience was was in fact a very well know singer in her day. She began her career in Cairo in 1911 and and was a pioneer of musical performers who made the transition from being considered hired musicians to becoming recognized as artists. Heba started to collect recordings and magazines articles and launched the Na'ima al-Misriyya Project.
The project seeks to document the life story of this singer, while also providing a glimpse into the phonograph era of Oriental music in Egypt and the Middle East at large. The project looks at the challenges that women faced with regard to their participation in public and private life, but also the performing arts specifically, from 1910 to 1940.
Heba shows the found photographs. We see private family photos, portraits taken in studio, which were eventually used as publicity material. We see women and artists living what seems a more modern life than woman in Egypt live today. She also shows some satirical magazine covers from the late twenties with women showing a lot of skin. Naima is a pioneer and sung a few famous songs. When we played a 78-rpm recording from 1924, in the dark, we feel the excitement of the audience as they all recognize the music.
2006, powerpoint presentation, 20 min
Shown at L&F Cairo (03–12–2006)