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FIFOG at an end

Those of you having diligently browsed through all pages on my site right up to the "cool stuff" page (I agree, not the most triumphant, and in need of a bit of attention), will know I'm refering to the Festival International du Film Oriental de Genève. A great, week-long film festival that just finished here in Geneva, devoted to films from and about the Arab world and the Middle-East.

I hugely enjoyed it even though I didn't go there much. Sounds odd, I know.

I'd have liked to, mind you, but I had to babysit whilst my wife was there partying most evenings, and admittedly also working quite hard as part of the dedicated team running the show.

My photos were there though, several times a day I think, a small selection of 12 projected onto the screen as a slide show before each film, which was really, really cool. There was another photographer actually, Navine Movarekhi, with a small selection/slide show of photos taken of crowds and protesters in Cairo during the recent revolution.

I was even interviewed for TV (Carrefours TV -

There were some great films, some more forgettable, but the latter were still great to attend, for one thing because of the whole festival vibe or "ecosystem", for another because even the not-to-great films gave you food for thought and somehow left a mark in your mind and memory. Quite unlike a number of Hollywood blockbusters which bring the house down during the show but struggle to leave any trace in your consciousness (mine at least !) even the following day.

Considering I only attended the FIFOG on 2 separate occasions, one of the things that left a mark was the work of calligrapher Abderrazak Hamouda, particularly his Body Khatt (or body calligraphy) show. Part of it involved painting beautiful Arabic calligraphy on the bare skin of anyone who cared for it, including my wife, myself, and actually most people stopped by to say hello. Another part was a display of calligraphed mannequins, along with a small exhibition of beautiful photos of calligraphed live bodies.

I just loved this idea of Body Khatt, which in fact tied in with the "body" theme of this year's festival.

That's all for today - the photo of course bears no particular relation to the blog post, but I thought I'd include a photo anyway, the first (except for a great many portraits of my family) taken in Geneva since my return from Hong Kong.

Toodloo !

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