Al Bustan 

(In The waiting room)

Al Bustan is part of the documentary installation A Familiar Place.

The video is projected on a screen, which is suspended from an improvised balcony. (See A Familiar Place)

When working on the main video of this project (A Familiar Place), where some of Titi's words are written as texts, I thought of making two versions of At the balcony. The original version as an anonymous outlook on Cairo's streets/Tahrir's riots, and a second, Al Bustan,  where I insert personnal impressions/observations as interlude captions.

 

Al Bustan means the garden in arabic. As the garden Tahrir square's became symbolically, as the soil of a new era. It is also the name of Titi's street. From Tahrir's chaotic stream of people to the calm borders of the Nile, From present to past times, Al Bustan is a lullaby, a journey in the curve of history.

(From Top, left to right): Cairo's 6th of October bridge caught in tear gas on the 28th of January. This young boy caught my eye one day in Tahrir, as the ritual of collective Friday prayer had become a habit. Something about him made me forget about the crowd for a while. This is the only Heron I have ever seen in Cairo. I filmed for close to 20 minutes until he flew away.

View (facing) of Titi balcony, an evening of Februrary 2013.  Two original shots of Titi, the first of part Tahrir square taken in the early 70's. The second, of Bostan street, taken by Titi from his balcony in the mid 50's. On a very hot summer day of July 2011, I meet a friend on the square who brings me to a balcony where I'll be able to "film it all".