Jasal Kheir–Cairo Detoured

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Jashal Kheir 2015

Jasal Kheir – Cairo Detoured (also Hasal Kheir arab. for Goodness has Happened) is a zine produced by Patrick Rieve in Cairo, Egypt, Dec 2014.

Contribution by Jaqueline George and Mohamad

Format A5, 36 pages, b/w.

Fanzine Review by Victoria Neuman:
"(...) Numbers on a map link the photos to specific locations in the streets of downtown Cairo. For example, an elaborate ornament on a pavement near Abd El Hamed Shaaban Street, or the almost heraldic logo of a print shop in the pedestrian zone of El Shefren Street. Rieve’s photos also show fleeting occurrences during his subjective search, like the cover of a book on a street merchant’s stall near Tal’at Harb Square, or a poster in a staircase of the Townhouse Gallery. Can these objects still be found there – maybe The zine* Hasal Kheir (arab. for Goodness has happened) is the result of Patrick Rieve’s systematic walk around the centre of the Egyptian metropolis which he undertook in December 2014. An examination of Cairo’s public spaces. the poster has already been covered over by a different one and the book has been sold? What can you be sure of in this city, where the traffic routes can change at any time or the access to a square is temporarily closed. Many of the places on the map were only recorded with a short, cryptic description. This is understandable, for taking photographs is not allowed everywhere or is not advisable. Certainly not when the security forces are carrying out a control. Everything which interests Rieve can be found in this work and is permissible here. Besides the photos, the publication also includes other illustrations: A page from a comic by Enki Bilal, in which the ancient Egyptian gods are hovering over the dirty city in a spaceship shaped like a pyramid. But also several pictures from Joe Sacco’s comic Palestine. Here they show the scene where Joe spends the night at a friend’s place and picks Edward Said’s Orientalism out of the book-case. For me, a small quotation sheds a different light on all the illustrations. These, and other pictures from the artist’s personal collection, act as a meta-level for the impressions gained in Cairo. They act as points of connection deliberately set by an illustrator with an affinity to comics, whose smog-inflamed eyes are caught by the graphic surface of palms, pyramids, and gods with animal heads.The zine has a double cover which makes it suitable both for the Arabic and the English/European directions of reading. The index of the illustrations is also correspondingly laid out. And maybe, at this very moment, someone is going round Downtown with a copy in his or her hand. Then, at the very latest, it becomes obvious that the work takes place outside. That’s where the fun begins! For there this mapping project becomes a location-specific work and downtown Cairo turns into the backdrop of a treasure hunt. Is it a homage to a city? Is it perhaps a Cairo-fanzine? ...Yes, I think so!"

Related article: Bone Response. 'Hasal Kheir' is part of the collection of the St. Patrick's Zine Library.