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Moving Pictures Painted

Book Launch

22/07/23 2pm


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Join us for the book launch of Moving Pictures Painted (CentreCentre, 2023), edited and designed by Patrick Fry, through publishing house CentreCentre; who create books that celebrate unexpected or overlooked collections of art and design. Moving Pictures Painted surveys seven decades of illustrated Egyptian film posters – spotlighting both the art form and the artists that cinematic history has often overlooked. Featuring over 200 images and essays from Joseph Fahim, Haytham Nawar and Christiane Gruber.

The launch is followed by a conversation with artist and designer, Haytham Nawar, as well a selection of vintage posters featured in the book on sale by Aflam Posters.

More about the book:

As Egypt honed its distinctive style of movie-making in the early 20th century, an alchemy of cultural specificities and legal idiosyncrasies saw the development of a parallel craft that took on a life of its own: film posters. Made largely with stone litho printing and conceived by illustrators who worked independently from the production studios, Egyptian cinema’s poster culture generated an ecosystem of creativity that rivalled the movies themselves.

Variously melodramatic and minimalist, reflecting eras of liberation and conservatism alike, the posters were displayed on billboards in thrumming metropolises like Cairo and Alexandria during their heyday, as well as on a smaller scale outside local theatres. Showcasing established film stars and catapulting new faces to fame, the posters allowed Egyptian artists and illustrators to absorb an international scene while cementing their own visual languages. Joining a global conversation yet remaining unmistakably Egyptian in sensibility and aesthetic, posters from the industry’s golden age acted as a weathervane for the country’s mood and culture. Featuring more than 200 examples, alongside analysis from film historians and academic specialists, Moving Pictures Painted reprises one of cinema’s most singular – and most spectacular – eras, in Egypt or anywhere else.


CentreCentre create limited edition books from unexpected collections, projects and archives. Our books strive to have the invisible seen and the forgotten found. We believe in taking inspiration from the mundane and the overlooked.

Haytham Nawar (b. 1978) is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and scholar. He currently serves as an Associate Professor of Design at the American University in Cairo and previously chaired the Department of the Arts there. Nawar is recognized for founding the Cairo International Electronic and New Media Arts Festival, Cairotronica. He holds a Ph.D. from Plymouth University, UK. As a two-time Fulbright Visiting Scholar and Artist, Nawar’s research and writing explore diverse areas such as design history, Arabic type design, and communication systems. He has a specific focus on the Arab World and Africa. Notable publications: “Language of Tomorrow: Towards a Multicultural Visual Communication System in a Post-Human Era” (Intellect Books, 2020) and the co-authored book “A History of Arab Graphic Design” (AUC Press, 2020).
Aflam Posters is an online store that offers a unique collection of vintage Egyptian film posters from the 1940s to the 1980s. Each poster is an original print of limited edition, showcasing the iconic artwork and design of the time. These posters are not only a valuable collector’s item but also a window into the golden age of Egyptian cinema. Aflam Posters provides a rare opportunity to own a piece of history and to bring the glamour of classic Egyptian cinema into your home. Aflam also dedicates its social media pages to the reeducation of recent generations on the major actors, films, and directors of that bygone era.

Images courtesy of CentreCentre and Haytham Nawar.

This event is part of the programme for Small Press Fest, an annual fair celebrating independent publications and publishing practices.


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