Egyptian filmmaker Yousef Chahine spoke with Qantara about Kifaya and demonstrations and politics:
Does the number of demonstrators get bigger?
Chahine: To a certain extent, but it is not enough. We have been living for 23 years under what you may call the “Security Act” which the Americans call the “Patriot Act”. They have the same shit, but we are underdeveloped so the shit is bigger. Once I wanted to give the university a gift of very thick sticks. Because the boys go out with a copy book. What can you do with a copy book? Every time they get beaten. For once I want us to beat them.
What do you think is the role of artists in the contemporary political situation?
Chahine: You must participate. You can’t be an artist if you don’t know the social, the political, and the economical context. If you talk about the Egyptian people, you must know about are their problems. Either you are with modernity or you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Because when Mr. Bush farts we jump.
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