By: Engy Mohamed

“Egypt has been rated one of the 6 most intolerant countries worldwide for disabilities in 2015,” according to zoomaal.com. Fortunately, D-CAF is taking an initiative to highlight the capabilities of the marginalized disabled community in Cairo by putting together art performances and shows that can morph the public’s outlook on disability and present them in a more positive light.

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) is “Egypt’s only international multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival,” The event takes place over three weeks in March through April every year across multiple locations in Downtown Cairo.

D-CAF hopes to revive the art scene in Cairo by offering an array of “local, regional and international music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film by cutting-edge artists from Egypt, the Arab world, and beyond.”

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D-CAF’s 2016 edition previously hosted the Stopgap Dance Company, a UK based performance group that works with disabled and non-disabled dancers. The performance featured a group of 15 local dancers who participated in the festival’s Urban Visions programme of contemporary dance performances in public spaces.

The 2016 festival also featured an Austrian performance titled “Madeeh (مديــح).” The show was a display of brilliant choreography by local disabled and non-disabled dancers, setting up “a process for humans to re-root themselves in the social, physical and instinctive.”

This year, D-CAF is hoping to expand its vision of “Dance with Disability” by bringing the Irish integrated dance company Croi Glan to Cairo to work with around 4 Egyptian dancers, with and without disabilities, to develop a public dance piece the group can perform as part of D-CAF’s Urban Visions program.

Unfortunately, such a project can be quite costly, which is why D-CAF must raise a total of $4000 dollars in order to cover the artists’ travel costs, fees, per diem, and accommodation.

D-CAF has launched a fundraising campaign that is expected to end on the 8th of March. With only 6 days left on the calendar, D-CAF is almost close to their $2000 milestone, but are a long way from their $4000 goal.

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