• Wael  Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012
  • Wael  Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012

The film Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo is the latest part of Wael Shawky’s project dedicated to the Crusades, reinterpreted according to Arabic chronicles and historical documents. The source material for the screenplay was Amin Maalouf’s book “The Crusades Through Arab Eyes”. This hour-long film covers events which occurred during the 48 years from the end of the first crusade in 1099 until the beginning of the second in 1147. The film adheres to puppet-show conventions, and contains elements of musicals, popular science programmes, nativity plays, and even horror.

It was made thanks to the artist’s cooperation with a group of over 200 people: musicians, pyrotechnicians, and puppet-makers. All the puppets used in the film (more than 130 figures of Christians, Muslims, kings, caliphs, popes, martyrs and saints) were made at workshops in Provence according to the 18th-century ‘santons’ technique used to produce clay puppets for nativity plays. The film was recorded in Aubagne cathedral, and premiered at the dOCUMENTA 13 exhibition in Kassel.

Year: 2012
Medium: HD film
Format: 61:00

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Fudacio Museo d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona
Index: MSN: 4300-36/2013
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage