Photo by Jill Steinberg.

In this interactive installation by Sister Sylvester and Nadah El Shazly, audiences will read together from handmade books, enveloped in El Shazly’s live score. The work is inspired by the blank and torn out pages of a journal (that the teenaged C. P. Cavafy began when he and his family fled Alexandria); by lost and missing archives through time; and by the ghosts, both erotic and historical, that visit the older Cavafy in his poems.
Sister Sylvester is a new media artist based in New York and Istanbul. She is a current resident at ONX Studio; a 2019 MacDowell Fellow; an alumnus of the Public Theater New Works program and the CPH:DOX lab. Her most recent film, Our Ark, codirected with Deniz Tortum, explores the relationship between computational thinking and the climate crisis. It premiered at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival) ’21 and has screened at international festivals, winning Best Short Film at the Istanbul International Film Festival. With efrin nowar she creates books that become performances, spatial narratives that play with spoken and written text to create communal reading experiences. She is currently developing a series of work that uses low-tech means to explore the stakes of new technologies, including synthetic biology and VR. She teaches a bio-art class, “The School of Genetically Modified Theater,” at Colorado College, and has also taught and lectured at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Princeton University; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Columbia University; and Bogazici Istanbul.

Since the release of her debut album, Ahwar, the composer and vocalist Nadah El Shazly has become a pillar of the Egyptian underground. In 2018, she appeared on the cover of the British experimental-music magazine The Wire in an issue announcing “Cairo’s New Wave.” The musician’s eclectic background, encompassing choirs, punk rock, and electronic music, prepared her for the electroacoustic reimagining of Arabic classical music that is inherent to Ahwar, exploring new sonic and harmonic frontiers. Backing up her release with extensive worldwide touring, El Shazly has been featured in many local and international festivals. She is currently working on her second album and continues to compose for film and moving image.

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