Telematch Sadat re-stages the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat, during the annual parade celebrating the October 6, 1973 beginning of Egypt’s victorious campaign to regain control of the Israeli occupied Sinai Peninsula.
In Shawky’s video installation, the military parade, the assassination and funeral are all re-enacted by Arab Bedouin children.
Sadat was assassinated in Cairo by members of an armed group belonging to the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. While popular among Egyptians, for many Arabs, Sadat’s signing of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty was seen as a betrayal of his predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arabism. Both Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 for their work on the Camp David Accords, which preceded the treaty.
With his strengthening relationship with the United States and his acknowledgement of the existence of what was widely regarded as the 'Zionist Entity', Sadat was seen as having destroyed the vision of a united Arab front. In 1979, Egypt was expelled from the Arab League and not readmitted until 1989. In spite of his supposed deep religiousness, he was an advocate of a liberal and secular state. After the assassination, Sadat was immediately succeeded by his vice president, General Hosni Mubarak, who continues to act as Egyptian President.
This video is part of the artist’s Telematch Project, a series of video installations and drawings that comprises Telematch Upper Egypt, Telematch Sadat, Telematch Market, and Telematch Suburb. Referencing the similarly titled German television competition showcase broadcast in the 1970s and 1980s, this project examines the relationships between genders, social classes, contesting cultural, economic and political models, and generations in Egypt from the 1970s to the present day.
21.11.09 – 20.02.10
Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi