Email from Professor Bob Bowker of the Australian National University

From: Bob Bowker <************>
Date: 11 January 2015 3:39:07 am GMT+2
To: Kim Beamish <************>
Cc: Jenny Bowker <************>, Sam Bowker <************>
Subject: Re: The Film


Dear Kim,


I have just watched the entire documentary, and I am deeply impressed, delighted and moved by what you have accomplished.

The story line is subtle - maybe too subtle for some audiences - but it encapsulates the pace of the street and the character of its citizens. It shows personalities in ways that bring individuals to the forefront of the story. It recognizes the momentous nature of events, but uses those events essentially to frame something even more important and interesting: how ordinary Egyptians beyond the realm of committed political activists see politics, participation in politics and communication about politics. The way in which it traces the cumulative impact of events on people who are on the periphery of events, but who have opinions on political matters, is an important balance to activist narratives on Egyptian politics.

The documentary captures the strong sense of self-worth and pride in their profession of the tentmakers superbly. They are not treated as the objects of forces beyond their control, nor are they idealized: the politics of the street and its rivalries and jealousies, the struggle to survive and the emotions on display at times are integrated effectively with the evidence of compassion, obligation and generosity.

I have no idea what the critical reaction will be, but you should be comfortable in the knowledge that you have captured the essence of an Egyptian micro-society in ways that outsiders have never managed before. 


Congratulations for achieving what deserves to be recognised as an outstanding social document.