Kairo, 22. October 2008 Press release

Smear Campaign - Dialogue on Track

Egyptian calligraphy meets Austrian graffiti

Cairo, 22 October 2008 – On 29 October, the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo will present the result of ‘Smear Campaign - Dialogue on Track’ at the Ramses Railway Station in Cairo. The project is under the auspices of Egypt’s Minister of Transport, Loufty Mansour.

'Smear Campaign' is a spectacular calligraphy-graffiti art project of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo that was implemented by Sameh Ismail, one of Egypt’s most important young calligraphers, and Thomas Mock, the well-known graffiti artist from Austria, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Transport and Egyptian Railways. Calligraphy, the art of writing in the Arab world, and graffiti, part of the Austro-European culture, merge in a joint work of art. The title 'smear campaign' stands for the prejudice that still exists with regard to graffiti as 'smearing' and in general for the prejudice against foreign, and thus unknown, art and culture.

Sameh Ismail and Thomas Mock realise their ideas in the project, depicting the personal dialogue between their genres on an Egyptian Railways railroad car.

The carriage will travel the 800 km between Cairo and Aswan, where it may be admired by thousands of people every day at the railway stations and en route. Art on wheels - a permanent exhibition, especially for people who otherwise have no opportunity to engage with art.

"Smear Campaign" was sponsored by Red Bull, Austrian Airlines, Longchamps Hotel, Samir & Aly, the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, Egyptian Railways and the Egyptian Ministry of Transport.

The official presentation will take place at 8 p.m. on 29 October on Platform 8 at the Ramses Railway Station in Cairo, and will be attended by the Austrian Ambassador, Dr. Thomas Nader, and the President of Egyptian Railways, Mahmoud Samy.

Contact:
Austrian Cultural Forum Cairo
Clemens Mantl, Direktor
Tel.: (02) 3 570 2975
clemens.mantl(at)bmeia.gv.at
Austrian Cultural Forum