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Complaints choir? Music to our ears

Complaints choir? Music to our ears

A group of artists in Egypt has become the latest in a global network of people with an inventive way to make their complaints heard. Kipp thinks they’re onto something.

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June 2, 2010 4:03 by



A group of artists in Cairo has gathered together in a new effort to have their complaints and gripes heard, reports the National.

Some 30 people have chosen to turn their daily complaints into song and, accompanied by original music on traditional Egyptian instruments, they have performed in front of an audience of hundreds at the city’s Townhouse Gallery.

“It is very tongue in cheek,” said Sarah Rifky, the curator of the Invisible Publics exhibition, of which the Complaints Choir is one installation. “The idea is not to create a radical demonstration, but to take on this idea of complaints being an everyday thing … and trying to manifest that in a form that everybody relates to and brings them all together.”

And it turns out the Cairo choir is just one of many across the globe. The man behind the original idea was Oliver Koctha-Kallleinen, a Finnish artist who staged his first choir in Helsinki in 2005. He’s organized eight of the estimated 65 choirs throughout the world.

Kipp wonders why the phenomenon has yet to catch on in the region. Perhaps it’s because we’re all perfectly content, happily ambling through daily life without a care in the world?

More likely, we don’t know where to start.



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