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Much Ado About “Theatre and Censorship Conference”

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The opening Ceremony was held at Hanager Arts Center on Sunday 24th of May 2015. It was well attended by many Egyptian artists, academics and intellectuals, in addition to an array of Arab and international conference participants from three continents.

The conference organizers screened a short film documenting Egypt’s journey with official censorship, which started with a decree by Khedive Tawfik in 1881 as part of his attempt to control political criticism. Though the film clearly states that censorship was connected to the political control of expression from the start, later presentations seemed to ignore this connection, reducing censorship to issues of morality and freedom of the body.

Interestingly, during his welcome speech, the Minister of Culture, Dr. Abdel Wahed El Nabawy, asserted that censorship was “helpful” to Egyptian theatre as it encouraged artists to create a wide range of theatre forms!

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