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Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala, 2015
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea
HD video, colour, single-channel, 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound System ; Arab and English subtitles
© Wael Shawky - Courtesy Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Torino - Proprietà della Fondazione per l'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea CRT
In his videos, drawings, installations and plays, Wael Shawky explores in depth the various ways in which national identities, historical narratives and religious sentiments may be put together. Drawing on historiographical sources and works of fiction, he often blends the edges between them, questioning the reliability of the facts with a wealth of shared myths.
With the videos of the trilogy Cabaret Crusades he gained international attention, presenting the history of the Crusades through a non-Eurocentric perspective. In order to do so, he made use of the book The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by the Lebanese historian Amin Maalouf, among the first to turn around the point of view on events, making use of Islamic medieval sources never previously considered by Western historiography. [...]