Wael Shawky was born in 1971 in Alexandria, Egypt, where he lives and works. With a multimedia practice that encompasses works on paper, film, and performance, Shawky reconsiders historical narratives and contemporary culture.
Noted for his intensive research-based practice, Shawky has received worldwide acclaim for Cabaret Crusades, a film trilogy that reinterprets the Lebanese historian Amin Maalouf’s 1984 study, The Crusades through Arab Eyes. In Shawky’s version, all of the characters are highly detailed marionettes made of wood, ceramic, and Murano glass. Shawky combines his storytelling abilities with an acute eye for cultural and historical observation, creating works that expand knowledge of the present through an examination of the past.