Cairo, 27 November 2008 Press release

Going Bananas - A Smile on the Nile

A cultural event of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo

Cairo, 27 November 2008 – The Nile in Egypt’s capital Cairo will become the venue for one of the most spectacular projects of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo. At the Cairo Fountain, which is located in the midst of the Nile, thousands of inflatable plastic bananas will be built up to form a pyramid which some time later will be catapulted into the air by the fountain’s water pressure, setting off down the river for an extraordinary and poetic journey. The Cultural Forum will literally “go bananas”.

“Going bananas”, a project conceived and realised by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Cairo, forms the climax and impressive conclusion of this year’s season of events devoted to the theme “Everything in Flux”.

Like few other cities and rivers, Cairo and the Nile reflect a picture of permanent motion and transformation, fascinating and attracting locals and visitors alike. Every day a huge assortment of different things can be found in the river, floating down the Nile towards the sea. “Going bananas” focuses attention on this daily transformation and journey for a few hours and deliberately provokes the eternal existential question: “Why?”. However, “Going bananas” is a declaration of love for Cairo and the Nile, their fascination, their poetry of contrasts and the local people with their generous hospitality.

The 2,000 inflatable, bright yellow plastic bananas, each about 160 cm long, will transform both the colour and the atmosphere of the Nile, giving it a completely new appearance. On account of the curvature of the bananas, which was uniformly defined for the whole of Europe, the Cultural Forum Cairo will conjure up thousands of “smiles” on the Nile, which will pass thousands of onlookers on their way towards the Mediterranean Sea. Once the bananas have reached the dams to the north of Cairo they will be collected and donated to Egyptian children’s homes.

Thanks to the support of the Governor of Cairo and the Dole Food Company as the main sponsor of the event, the Nile and Cairo will become one of the largest works of art in the world.

Date: 28 November, from 2.30 p.m.

Place: Start at Cairo Fountain / Kubri Qasr el-Nil, then downstream along the shores and bridges of the river until they reach Les Barrages.

Austrian Culture Forum
Mag. Clemens Mantl
Tel: +2-02-3570 275