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Art Shines a Light on Technology at Cairotronica Art Festival

Sitting at the intersection between art, technology and science, Cairotronica is an international arts festival that gives Egypt a voice in the global conversation on how tech affects our society.

Cairotronica, an international arts festival that uses cutting-edge technology as a medium for artistic expression, has just wrapped up its week-long run between April 26th and May 1st at Downtown Cairo's AUC Tahrir Cultural Center and the Factory Space. This year's festival, titled 'Data Fiction', featured insightful art projects from around the globe.

"We established Cairotronica in 2016 to encourage collaborative practises between art and science since, at the time, we did not have much of that in Egypt," Ghalia Elsrakbi, one of the co-founders and curators at Cairotronia, tells #CairoScene. "We are interested in the intersection between art, technology and science, and we want to create a moment of reflection for how technology affects our society."

Such conversation pieces include Australian artist Liam Young's film 'Planet City', which explores how a single city that houses the entire human race could be built with current technology. Turkish artist Orkan Telhan demonstrates how our diets might change with bioengineered probiotics. Meanwhile, Egyptian artist Salma Aly's piece, 'Hacking Design', raises awareness on looted artefacts in foreign museums with a DIY hacking kit.

"Cairotronica is not primarily about highlighting advances in technology," Ahmed Ellaithy, another founder and curator, says. "We're trying to cultivate a public discourse here because these global discussions are happening, but they're led by more capitalist-driven tech companies and Western communities. We want a more Arab and Egyptian voice to be represented in these discussions, and a lot of our international partners actually look to us as a source for these voices."

One such partnership was with Dutch art project IMPAKT on a fellowship titled 'We Are Data', where artists from Egypt and the Netherlands were able to exchange ideas, cooperate on each others' artwork, and present workshops in each others' countries. Through these partnerships, Cairotronica ensures that Egyptian artists and art enthusiasts remain part of the global conversation on the ever-shifting landscape of art and technology.