Dec 26, 2006

Letter to the Egypt Daily Star, by Nimrod Kamer. First Published: June 3, 2006

In response to the story entitled “Filming gone too far?” [1] in the February 27, 2006 issue of The Daily Star Egypt:

In February 2006, during the African Cup of Nations, I created a video called "Girls At The Cairo National Stadium" [2], as an artist.

The video was shown in several exhibitions and in Google Video and generated some responses that also led to The Daily Star Egypt.

I would like to respond to some of the claims against the video:

As a fan of the Egyptian soccer team (in the African Cup of Nations tournament), I arrived in Cairo for a weekend, with a friend, in order to see a match live, for the first time in my life. I also decided to record the experience on video.

First of all I would to say that I am sorry if any of the girls shown on the video were offended by it. I can say for myself that I am not a stalker, and the video was edited in a documentary style and not in any other style.

I mainly chose the footage of the girls in the stadium, since this is the issue that fascinated me the most, and was the reason that drove me to create this work. I believe that this footage catches the atmosphere and general feeling of victory in the game in quite a convincing manner.

In Israel it is very rare to see this enormous amount of women in football stadiums and I wanted to show the Israeli people back home that this liberal approach to soccer exists in our neighboring country from the south. The video may represent "the new Egyptian" - that for me symbolizes Egypt the most.

All of the people who watched this video in my presence loved it and did not see anything wrong or dishonest with it. As for the nature of this kind of art, I see myself as an artist working in the Middle East; I continuously try to present my film and video works to Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian friends.

I am full of appreciation for Egypt and for its hospitality, and for Cairo especially, which to me is the number one city in this region. I would be happy to invite all of Egyptian football-goers to Israeli football games, but they would be disappointed and bored when they see that they are 99 percent full of men.

With love and regards,

Nimrod Kamer