paloma yanez serrano
Play, although very present culturally in Cairo, is seen as a form of entertainment rather than an endogenous human characteristic. As such any debate of play is excluded from educational policies and consequently from the schooling system. This came to my attention in 2012 when I contributed to the creation of the first play-based educational scenario in Cairo. This project was inspired by the mini city educational model, present in over 70 countries of the world, and took the name of Mini-Medina ('mini-city' in Arabic). The project aims to create a simulated real-size city scenario for children to learn about the mechanisms of a city, imagining their ideal city and their role in society. During childhood every child goes through a process of discovery in which they make sense of themselves and the world around using their experience and imagination. This film is a journey shown in two screens contrasting the different roles children can take in the city and later how those roles transform as they grow up. Exploring the different interpretations and desires towards everyday life that children have in the city, revealing how in play the child learns to adapt to culture while acquiring tools to recreate and reinvent society. The film, shot in Cairo, seeks to portray the different ways children have of playing the city and play in the city, experimenting with the thin line that distinguishes play from reality.