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WEEWONDERBOX: Zabbaleen of Cairo

3 September 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Images of the Zabbaleen

A personal journey to the margins in word, music and image, with Christian Stejskal

Fresh from The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Just Festival, this unique one-man multi-media performance is a colourful, personal journey by Christian Stejskal from his city of birth, Vienna, to Ethiopia by foot, then into the lives of Cairo’s rubbish collectors, the Zabbaleen, whom he met during this pilgrimage.

After finishing his walk in Axum, Christian returned to Cairo and lived with the Zabbaleen . Supporting himself as a violinist at the Cairo Opera House, he spent 5 years taking photos and listening to stories of their joys, struggles, tragedies, and small triumphs.

Through seven spoken-word vignettes, photos, and music performed live on the violin, this show recounts lives of the Zabbaleen and Christian’s encounter with them.

Zabbaleen of Cairo has been performed at the 2016 Fringe Festival under the aegis of the ‘Just Festival’ and is supported by funding from the University of Edinburgh and the Economic and Social Science Research Council. Producer of the Zabbaleen of Cairo tour is Jamie Furness.

Cost: by donation (£6 suggested).

Venue: 21 Carlton Court, Glasgow, Scotland G5 9JP, Scotland.


Christian Stejskal is a Norwegian violin player, photographer and storyteller based in Cairo since 2010. He studied the violin at the Music Academies in Copenhagen, Hanover and Bern, and he has played solo concerts, chamber music concerts. He has worked in most professional orchestras in Norway, such as the Norwegian Opera House, Stavanger Symphonic Orchestra, Trondheim Symphonic Orchestra, Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, and Kristiansand Chamber Orchestra. Between 2010 and 2013 he worked as 1st violin player in the Cairo Opera Orchestra parallel with working on his book project about the Zabaleen. During 2013-14 he traveled all over Gaza during the course of 6 months and performed a musical fairy tale called “Ferdinand the Bull” for narration and solo-violin in each 185 UN-schools for Palestinian children, YouTube video here from this project. This work was sponsored by the Norwegian Foreign ministry. In 2012 he was shortlisted for the Anthropographia Photo award leading to an exhibition with 25 of his photos in New York the same year. In 2014 he received a grant from “The Freedom of Epression” – Norway for his photographic work on “The Zabaleen”. In October 2014 he made his first solo-exhibition of his work on Indian gypsies in Art Lounge Gallery in Zamalek in Cairo.





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Weewonderbox logo, 150dpi, 050416 - REDweeWONDERBOX is a programme of events organised by the Iona Community’s Programme team and the Wild Goose Resource Group.
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3 September 2016
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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