The Egyptian Centre for Culture & Art (ECCA) was founded in 2002 to record and promote traditional music in Egypt, increasingly in danger. ECCA documents and presents traditional music in Egypt as a vibrant and renewable resource, a multi-layered point of reference to the cultural richness of Egyptian music and arts.
TO ENCOURAGE THE DIVERSITY, SPECIFICITY AND VIBRANCY OF EGYPT CULTURAL SCENE AS A STRATEGY TO COUNTER CULTURAL UNIFORMITY, CONSUMERISM AND AN INCREASING INTOLERANCE FOR THE MARGINAL.
TO PARTICIPATE IN SAFEGUARDING EGYPTIAN CULTURAL MEMORY BY RESEARCHING AND DOCUMENTING ITS INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND BY ENCOURAGING THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF POPULAR TRADITIONS AND SOCIAL FESTIVALS.
TO CONTRIBUTE TO DIALOGUE AMONG PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES THROUGH AN INTENSE PROCESS OF ARTISTIC PRODUCTION.
TO PRESENT EGYPTIAN ORAL AND TRADITIONAL ARTS AS THEY ARE NOW, RARELY, PRACTICED TO A WIDE AUDIENCE.
Makan Fayoum Residency
Makan Fayoum Residency
125 Km from Cairo 6 rooms 1 separate playing room Available for workshops & concerts
The Society for Ethnomusicology has awarded ECCA the triennial Lois Ibsen Al Faruqi Prize, 2005
Because the value of cultural diversity to the human community, like the value of biological diversity to continued life on this planet, cannot be underestimated. As the world shrinks, dominant ideologies, religions and cultural expressions overwhelm the margins and we lose essential elements of the creative process: our appreciation of difference, our freedom to choose, to experiment and to dream of alternatives.
ECCA aims to record and present traditional music and musicians in Egypt as vibrant and renewable cultural resources that bridge Mediterranean and sub-Saharan African cultures. ECCA further encourages efforts to re-awaken the multi-layered complexity of Egyptian culture of music and arts, to return the music to the critical role it has played in the daily life and imagination of the Egyptian people, to counter the trend to isolate it from its original communities, to share this rich resource with the world community and, by presenting it in new contexts to encourage perception of this music as a resource for creativity.
Salma Al Assal is one of the leading Sudanese voices today .
She comes originally from El Obaid in western Sudan and presents a suite of traditional Sudanese songs, arranged for popular audiences. The dynamic lead singer with the powerful voice has been compared by her fans to the young queen of soul, Aretha Franklin. She has performed with numerous musicians and groups, including Sandaleya, Mahmoud Fadl and Ali Hassan Kuban.
Salma started to sing as a little girl. As her talent grew and her voice was increasingly noticed, she began to perform at weddings. With growing popularity, she moved to Cairo, the heart of the music industry in the Middle East, where she performs widely and now lives during part of the year.
What is our mission?
Our vision for community translates into the following actions :
Systematically recording, documenting and archiving current practice so as to make it available to scholars, musicians and to an increasingly broad-based audience. ECCA has developed a data base of archived material, using software specially developed for that purpose. Additionally, ECCA is developing its documentation policy in support of an ethical code that negotiates with performers as respected individuals having names and right.
Providing increased and diverse performance possibilities for its practitioners, thereby expanding the audience for this tradition, renewing the lively performer-audience relationship and increasing performers’ opportunities for financial sustainability. ECCA’s commitment to high technical standards of documentation, whether photographic, film or audio recording, also facilitates the distribution of material beyond local audiences to television stations, festivals and photo exhibitions.
Organizing encounters among a range of performing artists (musicians, poets, dancers, storytellers), as well as sound, video and light technicians involved in the performing arts, bringing them together in the context of workshops, rehearsals, facilitating their participation in festivals or just socialising. Makan offers these artists and technicians the basic and necessary infrastructure, together with an ambiance and spirit that can inspire the creation of new forms and traditions as a strategy for self-sustainability.
Expanding its already substantial network of contacts in order to further cooperation and the establishment of partnerships with a wide range of cultural organizations and scholarly institutions from all over the world.