For Saturday, Magdy El Shafee, Doll Hospital

This Saturday, I’ll be everywhere, and you can be too. (Except you, peering from behind that dumpster. You stay home.) First, there’s this Skype conference with Magdy El Shafee, happening at SVA.


Saturday, May 11 — 2pm to 4pm — FREE
School of Visual Arts Auditorium
209 East 23rd street, room 311
Magdy El Shafee’s 2008 graphic novel, Metro: A Story of Cairo has been called the first Arabic-language graphic novel. It was banned by the regime of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and El Shafee and his publisher were arrested, jailed and fined. In 2012, one year after the fall of Mubarak, it was finally republished in Arabic, French, Italian, German and English.El Shafee has continued to chronicle his own involvement in the tumultuous Egyptian politics of street protest and repression through comics, several of which have now appeared in English in World War 3 Illustrated magazine, the U.S’s longest-running political comix anthology.

In late April he was again arrested with a group of protestors demonstrating against the new Egyptian regime of Mohammad Mursi. After his arrest made international news, he was released on bail, but still faces extreme charges in an Egyptian legal system known for targeting demonstrators.

On Saturday, May 11th at 2pm, at the School of Visual Arts auditorium on 23rd Street in Manhattan, El Shafee will give a presentation via live Skype from Cairo talking about the new movement of cartoonists that has emerged from the Arab spring, about the changing situation in Egypt, about his own case and his own art.

Introducing and interviewing El Shafee will be Peter Kuper and Seth Tobocman, co-founders of World War 3 Illustrated.

All are welcome, admission is free.

Such injustice as Magdy is facing can only put me into a charged-up surly mood for vocal-percussive-experimental noise. Good thing Doll Hospital is on the bill for Iconicide Presents: A Witch’s Night Out  at Otto’s Shrunken Head later that night, with new material.


While what we’re rehearsing is not going to be as abstract as Aeon Calling or the Ur Sonate, it’s not gonna be a retread of the Mz Pakman/Rubber Room Rats shenanigans I used to engage in at dear old Otto’s Shrunken Head. Hopefully by the time we go on everyone will be too drunk to care. But my synchronicity for today? Guiding my determination to continue down these musical paths? A) someone in group telling me to learn to play drums as an alternative to self medication and/or harm (does that work?) and B) reading that hoards of cicadas are going to swarm Brooklyn this summer with their own raucous Ur Cicada, and remember I got Eric a zoom recorder last year for his birthday!


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