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Marionettes Breathe Life into Egypt's Arts Scene

Reviving the humble puppet, Khoyout Marionette are on a mission to bring back the ancient form of entertainment, with a modern twist.

There is something both beautiful and mysterious about the crafty puppets as they suddenly come to life and, just as abruptly, lay absolutely still. Politicians, writers and longing romantics have used the term time and time again, dancing like a puppet...Khoyout Marionette implement these descriptions in real life performances. The independent group work on three things: putting on performances for both kids and adults, setting up workshops for those who want to learn the revived art and most interestingly, creating custom dolls that you could chose to look like you.

“A group of my colleagues and I decided to make an independent group and really push this form forward. We love dolls and appreciate the art form so we aim to reach a wider audience and develop this art, that’s it in a nutshell,” tells us a passionate Ahmed Abdel Naiem.

One wonders how the group fares in such a challenging environment with the art scene in Egypt struggling to get back on its feet. “The life of an artist is hard,” explains Naiem, “I remember the magnitude and glamour behind El Leyla El Kebeera we haven’t had something as worthy since then so our goal is to bring back this art with the same glamour and effect.” Naiem goes on to explain that the art form is however making a comeback what with Abla Fahita and various one-off shows and the group are proud to have been a part of this but there is still a long way to go for this movement.

The group has shown that the use of these puppets in performance arts is endless; “I started as an actor but when I got close to the dolls I realised there really is a magic to them, you create a form and then it comes to life the process in itself amazes me. So I realised I want to continue and never got bored because it’s a limitless art form, a sea of opportunities.The doll is a part of you, you build it and then give it a character and soul.” The group also perform in public places so as to promote the art form and to send a message that art is for everyone, acting like as a catalyst for a larger and more effective art movements.

Check out their events here!