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A Warrior In High Heels
Cairo, Egypt
By Sergi Cabeza
18 Feb 2014

“A warrior in High Heels”

by Sergi Cabeza

It's the night before his solo performance, "Inside Out", a stage performance performed in three parts and Hazem has been in the theater all day long. He'll finish two evenings on the stage to finish his trilogy, The Nut, named after the Egyptian goddess of the sky who gave birth to the sun every morning. In his three-part dance show, he shows how Egyptian women gradually lost their importance in society through male domination. His last act addresses modern Egypt.

Hazem’s show crosses a red line that could land him in prison. In the final performance he straps on high heals, a bikini top, and struts down the stage in a catwalk. Several weeks after his show, three men were sentenced to three years in prison for debauchery, the Egyptian law used to condemn homosexuality. A fourth man was given eight years in prison on charges of running a brothel. Two of the men were accused of wearing women's clothes.

And here is Hazem on stage, dancing in his underwear, wearing a bra and a religious cap, taking off his clothes, as he slowly breaks free from a rope hanging from the ceiling that represents societal taboos.

His performance critiques how religion and men dominate his society's sexual norms. The first part was performed by eight women and the second with a mixed roster of boys and girls, but the final, solo act was to turn himself into a sexual transgressor before the eyes of the audience.

He was worried about getting arrested; however, nobody harassed him. Audiences cheered loudly at both of his sold out shows. He charged less than three dollars for tickets, despite the fact that this ticket price did not cover the rent of the theater, costumes and stage crew. A few days after his final show, he received an invitation from Tunisia, where he is due to perform in the beginning of May.

This was not the first time he faced his fears, faced his society and came out even more determined to succeed. In July 2011, Hazem walked into the center of Tahrir Square during an demonstration calling for an Islamic State. He went topless in front of the hardcore, ultra conservative crowds surrounding him and shouted against them.

“He acts in the stage as he is in the streets,” says his proud friend Diego. “He is a warrior in high heels.”

This video includes an interview with Hazem and images of his show.

Note for Sales: Hazem didn't want to give his last name.

SHOT LIST:

The show took place in the Rawabet theatre of Cairo, Egypt, the 18th of February of 2014

-0' 00'' Hazem during one of his rehearsals in the Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo some one week before the premiere of the show.

-0' 14'' Hazem interview.

-0' 20'' Hazem smokes a shish in the morning a day before the show.

-0' 25'' Walking in Cairo towards the theatre the day before the show.

-0' 33'' At the door of the theatre the day before the show.

-0' 38'' Hazem got some flowers sent to him the day before the show.

-0' 42'' Hazem interview

-0' 48'' Hazem during the show

-0' 55'' Hazem interview

-1' 02'' Hazem rehearsing in the theatre the day before the show

-1' 11'' Hazem interview

-1' 17'' Connecting the computer in the control room of the theatre the day before the show

-1' 22'' View of the theatre the day before the show.

-1' 26'' Another view of the theatre, from the stage.

-1' 30'' Hazem interview

-1' 35'' A view of the stage some hours before the show. Workers spread smashed coal as Hazem looks.

-1' 38'' The entrance to the theatre shortly before the show starts.

-1' 42'' People gathering outside the theatre minutes before the show.

-1' 47'' Hazem interview.

-1' 56'' Hazem strips during the show to remain only in his underwear.

-2' 15'' Hazem interview

-2' 21'' Dancing over religious music during the show

-2' 31'' Hazem interview

-2' 37'' The show is finished. People cheers as Hazem thanks the audience.

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Ritual Exhumation -Ifugao, Philippine...
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
19 Mar 2013

Bogwa is an ancient ritual in Ifugao, Philippines where natives in Kiangan, Asipulo, Banaue, Lagawe, Hingyon, and Hungduan exhume their death as a form of love and respect to their departed relatives. They feast, celebrate, and offer prayers to the dead for three days.

Although most Ifuagonos have converted to Christianity, they still practice this ritual taboo and incorporate Christian songs and prayers during “Bogwa”.

On the first day of "Bogwa", a Mumbaki (priest) will offer a prayer and a ritual asking the spirits to allow them to open the tomb of the dead.

After opening the tomb, a group of men are now ready to exhume the dead body and clean its 246 bones tediously . The men remove the garments and decaying flesh of the dead with their bare hands.

After cleaning the bones, they bury the decaying flesh near the tomb and sundry the cleaned bones. Next they wrap the skeleton's bones with white cloth and place native Ifugao garments over the white cloth.They will lay the wrapped bones in the favorite area of their beloved where they will pray and sing Christian songs for 3 days.

All people who wish to join the celebration are welcome. The family who is celebrating this unusual day are required to butcher pigs every day to feed all the visitors and on the last day they must also butcher a carabao.

A new coffin is made for the wrapped bones.

Before returning the dead to his tomb, a closing prayer and ritual is done and family members are asked to throw stones inside the tomb and make wishes to the spirits of their departed loved ones.

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Heroes for the Strays (5 0f 30)
Alor star, Malaysia
By syahrin
13 Mar 2013

-Pak Mie teasing his dog at the shelter.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Heroes for the Strays (6 0f 30)
Alor Star, Malaysia
By syahrin
12 Mar 2013

Mak Intan shows the spot where one of the dogs bit while she was tending to them.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan, have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Heroes for the Strays (11 0f 30)
Alor Star, Malaysia
By syahrin
12 Mar 2013

-Pak Mie prepares food for the stray dogs at the shelter.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan, have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure by landowner

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (19 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
12 Mar 2013

On the last day of Bogwa, a carabao is butchered to feed all attendees.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (20 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
12 Mar 2013

On the last day of Bogwa, a carabao is butchered to feed all attendees.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (18 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
12 Mar 2013

On the last day of Bogwa, a carabao is butchered to feed all attendees.

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Heroes for the Strays (7 0f 30)
Alor Star,Malaysia
By syahrin
12 Mar 2013

-Mak Intan resting after feeding the stray dogs at the shelter.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Heroes for the Strays (10 0f 30)
Alor star,Malaysia
By syahrin
12 Mar 2013

-One of the stray dogs in Pak Mie shelter barking as people try to approach him

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Heroes for the Strays (12 of 30)
Alor star, Malaysia
By syahrin
12 Mar 2013

-Mak Intan preparing the food for the strays dogs.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Heroes for the Strays (8 0f 30)
Alor star, Malaysia
By syahrin
11 Mar 2013

-One of the stray dogs who was saved by Pak Mie from the streets plays with his daughter.

For the past 20 years Pak Mie and his wife Mak Intan have been tending to the needs of stray animals suffering from diseases such as mange or cataracts.

The couple established the Pak Mie shelter on a vacant area near a river in Tanjung Bendshara. Although Pak Mie and Mak Intan have put in a lot of their own money and time into caring for these stray animals they have drawn the attention of malicious gossip.

They have been accused as running the center as a cover to hold donation money and accused of mistreating the animals. Pak Mie and Mak Intan strongly deny all these allegations. The center was only recently running on public donations. Prior to this the family ran the center with their own money.

The married couple volunteers at the shelter and its supporters are not only giving aid to these animals but are attempting to overturn Malaysians perception that animals, such as dogs, should be disregarded. Much of this public view stems from some of the Muslim population of Malaysia being taught that touching or having a dog is forbidden.

Contrary to the couple's efforts,the shelter is currently under investigation from the local authorities and they may have to relocate under the pressure of landowners.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (14 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

Relatives of the exhumed arrives and pray and sing infront of it.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (12 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

The cleaned and sun dried bones are wrapped in white cloth and Ifugao's native costume and place it on his favorite place which will serve as the altar during the Bogwa celebration.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (16 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

Bogwa is celebrated for 3 days and everyday, the organizer of the festivity will butcher pig to feed the entire village.

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Bogwa: A ritual of Exhumation (17 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

Bogwa is celebrated for 3 days and everyday, the organizer of the festivity will butcher pig to feed the entire village.

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Bogwa: A ritual of exhumation (1 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
11 Mar 2013

On the first day of Bogwa, people exhume the dead body of their dead beloved then tediously clean the bones.

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Bogwa: A ritual of exhumation (2 of 21)
Ifugao, Philippines
By Sherbien Dacalanio
10 Mar 2013

The bones of the exhume body are sun dried before wrapping it to a white cloth