AHMED SABRY | THE GARDEN OF THE FREAKS
“Recent Days have witnessed an increased interest in shows for mutant people, and we’re not, of course, talking about transgender people, but rather another type of shapeshifting. Huge shows are organised
“Recent Days have witnessed an increased interest in shows for mutant people, and we’re not, of course, talking about transgender people, but rather another type of shapeshifting.
Huge shows are organised for some patients of psychiatric clinics for the benefit of the ruling institutions, and the show schedule includes the following steps, the patient advances to a wide arena, after which the doctors begin to provoke his anger, given that they are specialists, which of course qualifies them to know all the stimuli that will anger the patient and motivate him to screaming, crying and collapsing. The attendees enjoy these shows and consider it as weekly entertainment after a hard week of work. As for the attendees, most of them are wealthy families, some political officials, army commanders, and some foreign communities working for the government and the diplomatic corps.
The promoter of the shows pleaded with the audience not to take their children with them in the next show, as the next show will transform the patients into animals like elephants or monkeys or aliens and amputees – as doctors have come up with drugs and meticulous surgeries to convert patients into a metamorphosis – a strange looking monster which of course, helps to attract more audiences and from further countries and provinces. The performances used to arouse laughter and enjoyment in the audience, but later they desired more than just laughter. They demanded that touching, playing, and hitting be allowed to the abused patients. However, the real problem was that theatre could turn into an arena for chaos if the audience desire were fulfilled. The public appealed to the officials to solve the issue. Indeed, television channels began to pay attention and arrange to meet with some experts to find a way to implement what the public demands.
Vast areas of gardens have already been built on an area of nearly a thousand square meters, and some buildings have been designated as a hospital with specialised doctors practicing their experimental research regarding transforming patients. As for some other buildings, it is devoted to a special area for international restaurants and cafes, between the sides of which a lot of iron cages are spread, in which patients stand still, where the visitor can provide them with food, and are even allowed to enter some cages in which patients are not serious, such as the example of patients with amputees and the like. Park officials resorted to adding new weekly entertainment activities, as they decided to provide weapons that fire small iron balls, to be used by the public during a two-hour program in which sick and mutant persons are released from their cages and visitors fired their guns at them, which brings fun to children. The rules of the game require that prizes be given to the winners.
Several years has passed and the park became world famous so as it even became one of the most important tourist sights. You can try visit it at any time of the day and night, you will always find it full of tourists and TV presenters, and sometimes you may get to spot many movie stars while shooting movies or drama series. Due to the increase in tourist groups, the park faced an important crisis, which is the small number of patients compared to the huge number of park-goers, so newspapers, televisions and radio stations were filled with announcements about the National Campaign for getting better information around statistics of Mental and Psychiatric Patients in the country, Awareness campaigns start urging citizens to hand over their children and relatives to the General Administration of the Park and the Mental and Psychiatric Diseases Center. The campaign doctors explained that this project is not just a garden or a clinic, but rather a monument to be built on the efforts of researchers, academics and political leaders as well, in addition to the fact that it carries a national goal to support the economy through tourism, which would restore the state & political position.
Severe congestion, a traffic crisis, a festive atmosphere in the areas surrounding the park, and terrible numbers of families who came to deliver some patients tied with ropes, everyone was sitting in groups next to their sick relatives, and the park and its surrounding areas were filled with children, youth and the mentally ill. Some of them were dancing in the middle of a circle of citizens shouting joyfully and applauding, trying to increase the dose of fun so someone tries, for example, to hold a patient, tie his feet and slap him severely, while the patient tries to resist when one of the citizens attracts him, so he falls again. The dose of fun and laughter increased at the end of the day when most of the patients began to dance while crying and screaming, their bodies almost naked, covered with a paste that was nothing but a mixture of blood and dirt.” – Ahmed Sabry
Courtesy of Mashrabia Gallery Of Contemporary Art
May 23 (Sunday) - June 16 (Wednesday)
Mashrabia Gallery Of Contemporary Art
15, Mahmoud Bassiouny St. Qasr El-Nil, Cairo, Egypt