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Wael Shawky

The Wael Shawky exhibition took place between 15 April and 26 June 2011 and focused on a series of films and film installations produced by the artist between 2005 and 2010: The Cave; Al Aqsa Park; Telematch Sedat, and Caberet Crusades: The Horror Show File.

Telling the story of the First Crusade (1096- 1099) from the perspective of Arab historians, Cabaret Crusades was made using an Italian collection of 200 year old puppets - which are made to act out a horrific saga of  bloody battles, betrayal and civilian massacre. The film was accompanied by works – which look like abstract paintings – that are made of dark, sparkling tarmac and refer to Crusader history. Shawky’s use of puppets, child actors, sci-fi imagery and entertainment formats emphasised how political events exert a powerful imaginary and mythical hold on the ways we think of ourselves and the world.

Related Material


Events - Talks

Artist's Talk by Wael Shawky

Audio Archived Online

Wael Shawky offers an insight into his work and its contexts. The Space, 7:00pm, £3 (free for...
Events - Talks

Razia Iqbal

Audio Archived Online

Razia Iqbal discusses Wael Shawky’s work, in the context of Middle Eastern politics and...
Events - Talks

The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives

Audio & Video Archived Online

Historian Carole Hillenbrand expands on the themes of Wael Shawky’s Cabaret Crusades:The Horror...