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Nefertiti's Daughters
A film by Mark Nickolas and Racha Najdi
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A story of women, art and revolution, this vibrant film documents the critical role that revolutionary street art played—and is continuing to play—in the political uprising of Egypt. Introducing a cadre of courageous and gifted female artists who are deeply involved in the struggle for social and political justice, NEFERTITI'S DAUGHTERS illustrates the surprising ways that artwork, instead of being relegated to dusty museums and academia, can instead become a powerful tool in the ongoing fight for civil and human rights.

Conversations with prominent Egyptian artists Bahia Shehab, Mira Shihadeh and Salma Samy—each from a different generation—weave throughout the film's narrative. As the women discuss their work and the ways that it is inspired by and responds to a violent and complicated political environment, viewers are offered a rare window into the struggles of living and creating in Egypt today.

For Shebab, Shihadeh and Samy, art can serve many functions: memorializing acts of government brutality; calling potential comrades into the struggle; turning the tables on male predators and sexism; and imagining a world where a woman would be permitted to sing the sacred Adhan, the Muslim call for prayer.

Acclaimed journalist Shahira Amin and art historian Christiane Gruber, author of Creative Dissent: The Arts of the Arab World are among those who add valuable context. As they illustrate, street art has long been a key means of communication and dissent during times of political transformation and social instability in Egypt. Techniques, styles and symbols from Egyptian history are re-appropriated and adapted to become relevant today—including the image of the legendary Queen Nefertiti, a powerful symbol in an ongoing fight for justice.

"Three stories intersect in this compelling short film from director Mark Nickolas: the emergence of Egyptian street art, the oppression of women in the country, and the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak but didn't stop government brutality against Egyptians."Aspen Times

First Prize, Athens Film Festival
Gold Medal, WorldFest Houston
Best Documentary Short, Hamptons Take 2 Doc Fest
United Nations Association Film Festival
CASAE Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education Conference
Stony Brook Film Festival
San Joaquin International Film Festival
Rhode Island Film Festival
On Location: Memphis Film Festival
DocUtah Film Festival
Aspen Shortsfest
Raindance Film Festival
Napa Valley Film Festival
Tallgrass Film Festival
Heartland Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Calgary Arab Film Festival

40 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2015
Copyright: 2015
Sale: $325

Subject areas:
Art, Communications, Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, High School Use, Media Studies, Middle East, Women's Studies, Egypt

Related Titles:
Tahrir: Liberation Square: Director Stefano Savona lived and filmed on the front lines in Tahrir Square, Cairo, to make this film from the heart of the protests that overthrew Mubarak in Egypt last year.

Goodbye Mubarak!: Egypt in the months leading up to the Tahrir Square demonstrations—and a revolution already simmering under the surface.

To Be Seen: A lively study of visual culture, and an exploration of an age-old urban cultural phenomenon, street art. What is art's role in the context of public space and urban culture?

The Next Big Thing: The contemporary art world is changing dramatically. How are collectors, museum directors, dealers and artists responding to transformations in the market?

Female Directors: When job prospects elude them, two twenty-something art school graduates decide to film each otherís lives instead.

Nasser's Republic, The Making of Modern Egypt: The story of the most important political leader in the post-colonial Arab world.

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