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  THE VINES OF NIKLAH
By Tarek Abouamin

  September 14-29 | Various times | FREE
Neptune Studio Theatre Lobby
 
  Artistic statement by Tarek Abouamin:
  I approached photography as a documentary medium the summer my father's brother died. I photographed my family obsessively and in recent years, I traced my family roots to rural Egypt where I collected images with distant relatives and old family friends.

In the last 5 years I became very concerned with the decline of quality of life in rural Egypt. The collapse of the cotton industry in the 1990's and Agricultural Reform Law 96 of 1992 show Mubarak's government abandonment of rural governorates and a bias towards urban development. Many rural areas do not have access to electricity, water, and sewage treatment infrastructure and as high as 41% remain completely illiterate.

The collection of portraits in "The Vines of Niklah" come from two trips I made weeks before the revolution erupted on January 25, 2011; one trip with my father to his childhood summer home near Tanta and the other I made with my aunts to their ancestral land near Sharqiya. The pictures depict moments with family, friends of my family, and friends who have known my family for generations. They are memories collected for the family archive and are part of an ongoing personal dialogue on Egyptian identity.

  Tarek Abouamin:
  Egyptian-born Canadian Tarek Abouamin is a cinematographer, documentary filmmaker, and lecturer at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His cinematography has been showcased in numerous films featured in film festivals across North America and Europe, including award-winning film Masquerade, directed by Pat Blackie (Best Atlantic Short Film 2003, AFF); Recollection (2004) and Genie-Nominated The Wake of Calum MacLeod (2007), directed by Marc Almon; Quiet at Dawn (2009), directed by Rob Blackie, and Snow (2011 directed by award-winning writer-director Rohan Fernando.

His documentary work, Colours of Exile (2009), and Gawab (2010), focuses on concepts of identity and explores notions of nationality, home and family. His latest documentary, 18 Days, about the Egyptian Revolution, was awarded the Rex Tasker Documentary Award at the 2011 Atlantic Film Festival.

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