Egypt Independent

Adel Imam says art sides with opposition as designer refuses govt award

Prominent actor Adel Imam told reporters that “Egyptian art is always on the side of the opposition,” during his visit to Iraqi Kurdistan Wednesday.

The revolution will continue until it has achieved his goals, Imam said during a press conference in the city of Irbil, where he would stay for five days during his first trip to the Kurdish region. “When the youth revolution erupted on 25 January, its slogan was ‘freedom, democracy and social justice,’ and this slogan has not yet been achieved,” AFP quoted him as saying.

“Art and culture are the conscience of the nation,” Imam said, referring to the role of art during the three previous Egyptian regimes, of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.

The actor went on to stress the importance of peace, saying, “I do not see love in the Arab world, all I see is killing and blood,” AFP reported.

Meanwhile, the head of the Cinema Professionals Syndicate, Mosaad Fouda, has hailed Ansy Abu Seif, a set designer, for refusing to receive an honorary prize from Culture Minister Saber Arab in protest of President Mohamed Morsy’s controversial constitutional declaration.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Abu Seif, who rebuffed the prize during the 35th Cairo International Film Festival, which concludes Friday, said he cannot accept a reward from a representative of the current government. He criticized the Culture Ministry for printing the draft of the new constitution at its own expense despite opposition to the document from workers in the cultural field.

“Egyptian artists have been facing a brutal campaign by a group ruling in the name of religion….hail to persistence in the face of those who struggled to kill our freedom of thought and creativity,” Ansy said in a letter to actor Ezzat Abu Ouf, the festival’s president.

The cinema syndicate urged all artists participating in the festival to follow Abu Seif’s example and to voice their objection to the “unjust” constitutional declaration, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.