KHALF 40 is a performing arts collective established by Hakim Abdelnaeem and Mohamed Fouad in September 2018 in Alexandria, Egypt. Operating between France and Egypt, our main mission is the production of performing arts projects and programs at the intersection with different art mediums.
We seek to question conceptions of the masses, the dynamics of obscuration, the politics of uniformity, as well as the effect of political and social contexts on the individual’s personal and collective trajectories and their expression of these effects in their everyday practices, in order to develop varied artistic articulations to express such practices. We attempt to study the tactics of categorization that are enacted on groups of people, placing them into uniform divisions, regardless of their individual histories, natures, and experiences, dealing with them collectively as a whole
The collective is named after Fouad’s birthplace, a residential neighborhood that lies within the administrative purview of the Awil al-Montaza district in eastern Alexandria, north of the railway, and extends for approximately 142,000,00 square meters according to Google maps.
The neighborhood is connected by narrow streets, each 3 meters wide. Since the erection of the first residential buildings in the late 1970s, a huge number of people reside in the area. Gradually the streets surrounding it were paved, including 40th Street (Shari‘ Arb’een) and the neighbourhood consequently became known as Khalf 40 (Behind 40), indicating its location in relation to this street.
* Image of the region "KHALF 40" taken through the application of Google Maps, and took the geographical measurements through the same application.
Our relationship to our political, social, and economic context, as well as an awareness of both our social position and privileges within this context, and the significance of the current moment for the place we grew up in and to which we culturally belong, all shape the stance we take in our work towards all that happens around us, to the various events, struggles, and alliances.
Through KHALF 40, we are trying to reflect upon our artistic experiences, and the expertise and skills we acquired during our interactions with different artistic contexts, both local and international, and all that these interactions entailed in terms of observations, questions, and criticisms. In these reflections, we approach experimentation as a departure point and guide for our work.
Our relationships with our partners and funders will never be unconditional. They will be based on an agreed set of standards and clarity, and critical collaborations. We are committed to approaching all parties with criticality and accountability,, even if they are partners or supporters. Artistic partnerships are based on a degree of blindness towards problems and crises are harmful to the entire artistic process and produce an unhealthy creative environment. We are therefore committed to a critical approach, As we are trying to establish a vibrant and dynamic relationship with our collaborators, be they funders, artists, or audiences.
We believe that the creative process is one of learning, growth, development, and critique. The final artwork is not a goal in itself, but rather an attempt to test the artistic content that expresses the artist’s vision. This is achieved through research, study, development, and experimentation. We do not consider this process to be merely focused on the final product that is on display for a few nights. Instead it is a journey, with one stop being the performance, but this is only one episode in a series of experiments.