The Cairo-based Italian author-translator Carmine Cartolano, who writes in Egyptian Arabic and goes by the name Qarm Qart, has an Mahfouz-centered art installation at Cairo’s Mashrabia Gallery through June 14:
The installation takes Mahfouz’s popular, generation-spanning Cairo Trilogy as its jumping-off point for works stitched onto the tarboosh. According to the gallery, “Qart’s Qarboush – creative works on the tarboush – offers multiple layers of meaning in the interpretation of Egyptian pasts and presents.”
The tarboush as male headgear is now an historical relic. But what about its symbolic force of national and patriarchal privilege? The artist makes us ponder whether this privilege has gone with the tarboush itself as he ushers us into disquieting yet intriguing spaces. Disruptions and continuities haunt the pinpricks of his Qarboush.
The installation can be seen at Mashrabia Gallery’s main hall, 8 Champollion Street, in downtown Cairo.