Here is a short video made by Bonnie McCaffrey
My friend Jenny Bowker has been working very hard to promote the work of the Tentmakers to allow this beautiful craft to continue. Here is part of her story (posted with her permission) and information on the Feature film Kim Beamish is making.
'The art has been slowly dying. Big pieces of cheap, badly registered, printed fabric made in China have poured into Cairo and people buy this rather that the real appliquéd pieces. On top of that disaster - tourism has stopped with unrest for the last two years. Without the work sold in to exhibitions that I have been arranging in other countries they would all be gone by now - instead - stitchers who left are coming back and young ones are learning again. I am thrilled with the progress we have made and very happy with the AQS who committed to them for three years. But - it is still hardly documented at all. There is not one piece in the Cairo Museum or even in the Cairo textile museum. The best article I have ever found is in the Uncoverings magazine and there are no books. Older stitchers are dying and no history has been written.
Kim Beamish is an Australian friend who - when I took him to visit the street on his third day in Cairo - picked up the baton I offered and ran with it. He is making a film about the Tentmakers in these difficult times. He has given most of five days a week for the last seven months - or more. He has paid his own way to shows in England, and has had to pay for three more that have not even happened yet in France and two in America. He has become part of the street and the men are used to him and his camera. He has two young children and a wife who works in the Australian Embassy in Cairo. They have to pay a nanny so that he is free to film. He is, like I was, a trailing spouse. He did not choose to live the 'cocktail parties and bridge' life, but has chosen to go out on a limb to tell a very moving and necessary story. I know that at the moment he is on the bones of his behind financially and simply cannot afford anything else.
The movie will not be made without funding for the essentials - the long and boring stages when the filming is done and the hard work starts. Editing, top level translation and the rest has to be done by experts and paid for. Please help. Even a little bit from a lot of people will add up to a lot - that is what crowd funding means. The link is now open and working. If he does not get to his total he gets nothing. Kim will spend the month hovering over the site and biting his fingernails.
This is the link to help
http://pozible.com/tentmakers and even a small contribution will help.
The work is really special and the film is essential.
If you use PayPal it will ask you to preauthorise. It sounds odd but it simply means that when the total is reached the money will then be taken from people's accounts so it has to be done this way. Kim gets nothing if he does not reach his total and that is the way that Pozible works. He is a bit worried at the moment as only about 29 have helped in three days.
PLEASE send this on to as wide an audience as you can reach. The moment the total is reached the project will be assured. Until then it looks as if it might be dead in the water.