Wael Shawky

Cabaret Crusades trilogy, 2010 – 2015
HD film, colour, sound, English subtitles

Untitled, 2020
Site-specific asphalt installation

Cabaret Crusades is an epic trilogy that tells the story of the medieval crusades from the Arab perspective. Wael Shawky has created three animated videos, the triptych formed by Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2014). Based on the book of essays The Crusades through Arab Eyes, written in French in 1983 by the Lebanese historian Amin Maalouf, Shawky rewrites the bellicose expeditions of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, which the Western papacy sent to the Middle East to re-conquer the Holy Land. Made with puppets rather than actors, this trilogy has made Shawky one of the most significant contemporary Egyptian artists.

Text courtesy Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Special Thanks to Lisson Gallery