mass alexandria

The congressional shooting that happened yesterday in Alexandria was horrible. No one should disagree with that. 

But a year ago this month, nearly 50 people were killed at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida. 

Two years ago, nine people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Five years ago, 20 children and six adults were killed during the Sandy Hook shooting. 

These are only the shootings I can think of off the top of my head. Just this year alone, and June hasn’t even ended yet, there have been 150+ shootings.

But it took an attack on old white men for the media to bring gun control back into the public mindset. It took this attack for Paul Ryan to proclaim, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” 

It would’ve been nice if this anger from GOP politicians had been around for all the innocent people who have died from shootings. No one has died yet from yesterday’s shooting, and hopefully, Steve Scalise recovers soon. 

But could this please be the breaking point for the GOP? This country needs gun control. If our politicians had done something before now, perhaps they wouldn’t have become victims.
The Atlantic: When Prayer Alone Does Not Suffice
Even as Americans keep the latest victims of a mass shooting in their thoughts, they have an obligation to figure out how to prevent any recurrence.
By David Frum

When do we actually begin to take action and figure out how to prevent this kind of mass death and violence? Prayer is not enough. There needs to be action, and that means looking intently at the causes, even if it makes us uncomfortable.

Against Nostalgia: Ways of Seeing Alexandria

Berit Schuck

Everybody knows that Alexandria will most probably drown and disappear in the near future due to rising sea levels. Fewer people give it a thought that the drowning might eventually be caused by those who speak and write about the city with a deep sense of nostalgia. Waves of stories about Alexandria’s past overshadow every contemporary discourse. The predominant belief that there is “nothing to see” and a lost sense of ownership in regards to both Alexandria’s Ottoman, Belle Époque and modernist architecture leave little space for the few who are trying to enact a future, especially when they are dreaming of something more complex than reanimating a once famous café, republishing earlier descriptions of the city or reintroducing the culture of the flaneur. In his talk at MASS Alexandria in the spring of 2016, entitled “The City as Heavy Stage”, the artist Mahmoud Khaled suggested that Alexandria’s future lies with those who go looking for new urban narratives and find a way to share them widely through art works, films or writings. For example a road movie combined with a piece of advertisement that speaks the language of late-night workers, the re-enactment of an on-going conversation with someone living abroad or the secret occupation of a symbolic place in plain sight (as opposed to self-immersive flanerie) may enable us sooner to experience and see the complexity of this city than reconnecting with one version of its past.  

So, the question is: How to escape the virus of nostalgia when you happen to live and work in Alexandria or come for a visit? Let’s try to find an answer by looking at three attempts that seem to deal with this question without saying it directly. The first one is Mahmoud Khaled’s two-day happening ‘Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast’ co-commissioned by Omar Kholeif and Christodoulos Panayiotou for the Cyprus Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennial. It was realised in Alexandria in collaboration with the writer Magda Magdy, and consisted of a series of collective readings at iconic sites of the city, among them the Antoniades Garden and the shipyards in Bahary. Both places are easy to love but difficult to see without thinking of Alexandria’s cosmopolitan past. However, what Khaled achieved through the staging of informal gatherings is remarkable. By transforming the historical sites into places for ephemeral public performances, he created a public space that every city needs to be able to breathe.

[“When Sirens Go Unnoticed” by Sara Moustafa, End of Year Exhibition 2016, MASS Alexandria © Fathi Hawas]

[“Disappearing Pedestrians” by Ash Moniz, End of Year Exhibition 2016, MASS Alexandria © Fathi Hawas]

In January, the city saw a different proposition on how to interrupt the dominating Alexandrian discourse. Founded in 2010 by the artist Wael Shawky, the 500 square meter studio of MASS Alexandria is located in the eastern neighbourhood Miami. It reopened in 2016 after a two-year hiatus with the launch of a new studio and study programme that included a series of workshops, lectures and talks that specifically addressed the situation of the city today. The fellows were asked, for example, to do walks across the shopping streets of Manshiyya and the fish market in Anfoushy in the tradition of Guy Debord, to follow a workshop on the ideology of the public sculptures and historic monuments with the Beirut-based artist Ahmad Ghossein (Relocating the Past: Ruins for the Future”, Oslo 2013), to visit Alexandria’s Amphitheatre, Catacombs and Manuscripts Department with the artist and curator Haig Aivazian, to attend a research seminar on the ideological framework of Egyptian modernist architecture with the architect Mohamed Elshahed, and a workshop about the form of knowledge and the forming of knowledge at institutions like the city’s art museum and the Alexandria University led by the artist and co-founder of the Anti-University of Copenhagen Jakob Jakobsen. Of course the attention paid to the various spaces of Alexandria not only informed the discussions at MASS Alexandria, but also the work of the fellows. The study programme culminated in an exhibition that transformed the studio of MASS Alexandria into a temporary gallery. Many of the works created by fellows discussed what defines Alexandria today.

[“Emergency Room” by Yasmine El-Meleegy, End of Year Exhibition 2016, MASS Alexandria © Fathi Hawas]

Yet another strategy to change the ways of seeing Alexandria was employed by Alia Mossallam, a researcher with a special interest in social movements, contemporary artistic practices and a PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics. Mossalam co-organised in collaboration with makers, artists and performers a weeklong workshop on the anarchist movement of Alexandria. The event was held at Wekalet Behna in Manshiyya, between the two ports of the city where most of the ‘characters’ worked. The idea of the workshop was to look at Alexandria as a meeting point for a number of movements between 1880 and 1920 among them a theatre movement spurred by Syrian artists and the above mentioned anarchist movement spurred by Italian workers. It brought out a digital publication and an alternative map that visualises the central meeting points of the movement from the workers’ theatres to the Free Popular University of Egypt.

Berit Schuck is an independent curator and researcher, and the Programme Director of MASS Alexandria.

*This text was commissioned for an upcoming publication, City Guide to Alexandria, edited by Cairobserver’s Mohamed Elshahed.
NBC pulled a sitcom episode about mass shootings. Its creator explains why that's a mistake.
Jerrod Carmichael wants to help people "talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way."
By Caroline Framke

The Carmichael Show, an NBC sitcom that routinely tackles difficult subjects and social issues, was supposed to air an episode on the evening of Wednesday, June 14, that deals with the aftermath of a mass shooting. But earlier that day, very real mass shootings occurred in Alexandria, Virginia, and San Francisco. NBC ended up pulling the episode, titled “Shoot-Up-Able,” in the wake of those shootings and airing a completely unrelated one instead — a move that Carmichael Show creator and star Jerrod Carmichael says he understands but vehemently disagrees with.

Guys I got to meet Cody Carson from Set It Off!!!!! Let me tell you he’s the sweetest dude I’ve ever seen and his band was amazing!! I asked him about his setlist and he forgot his own songs and it was adorable but a random guy came to save the day! LISTEN TO SET IT OFF!!

Black Mass Tour 2014

Black Veil Brides

House of Blues : Orlando, FL


Publisher: Movement Magazine

Photographer: Roxy Faith Alexandria



Artist Name: Hagar A.Sobeea

  Title of work: The Kiss Is a bit far to the -  القبلة إلى اليسار قليلا 

Medium of work: Mirror, Graffiti, Sound Collage 

Size of work: A 50X50 cm mirror, faced with a 27X11 cm reversed Arabic word “AlQibla”, A headphone placed on a hook

AlQibla, AlQubla.. 

Two words written the same way, Pronounced differently

Thread totalitarian, it has nothing to do with religion and love, only with your Flexabilty to acceptance

a mirror where you see your own reflection… Stand in front of for a moment… Listen… Absorb your surroundings of data, and visual


your reflection is what’s going to lead you to your own conclusion later


الإسم: هاجر على سبيع 

إسم العمل: القبلةُ إلى اليسار قليلا

الوسيط:  مرآة, جرافيتى, مقطع صوتى مركب

القِبلة , القُبلة .. ز

كلمتان تكتبان بطريقة واحدة وتنطقان بطريقتان مختلفتان

الموضوع شمولى, ليس له علاقة بالدين و الحب فقط بل بالقدرة على القبول

مرآة ترى فيها إنعكاس نفسك.. تقف أمامها برهة.. تستمع..

 تمتص ماحولك من بيانات و دلالات بصرية

إنعكاسك هو ما سيوصلك لما ستستنتجه فيما بعد

This is an ongoing project of installations, Based on research and

archiving in relation to language. Concept inspired from Arabic Language and words that come from the same origin yet they mean completely

different things, only Because of the way these words are pronounced.

The First installation Presented at MASS this year is reproduced from a

sentence we mostly hear or read as a sign of position’ direction when in mosques located in Alexandria, Egypt, “The Qibla” -Your destination- is a little bit far to the left"

القِبلة إلى اليسار قليلاً

according to Egypt’s Location to Mecca, we head a bit far to the left to be facing Al Kaaba while praying and doing Duaa

In Arabic, small difference in pronunciation of a word, though written the same way, can give a completely different meaning. “Qibla” means

direction (towards Mecca) and pronounced differently, “Qubla” means a kiss!

My personal experience with mosques was when I first started praying in this small one, attached to students building, during college days, where the women’s prayers section used to have a mirror hanged beside the entrance, through which, everyone used to check how they looked after or before doing the prayers, it seemed surreal at the time, very out of place. Not to forget that there was some individuals who used to only enter the mosque to check how they looked in this mirror

Putting these factors in mind, I Created an installation and a symbolized sound mix to be heard via earphones, A Graffiti of the word “AlQibla” in pink, reversed in front of a mirror, to be seen adjust through the mirror


We don’t need to be directed when it comes to practicing love, you’re free to express it the way you want to, and the way you feel to with no obligation or  a certain directing way of doing that.

My concept relates to merging between the true relationship between God and a human being and the symbols of true love among human kind, how it’s not supposed to be directed, and how spontaneous it could be.

Black Mass Tour 2014

Black Veil Brides

House of Blues:  Orlando, FL


Publisher: Movement Magazine

Photographer: Roxy Faith Alexandria