With all of the political and social changes in Egypt in the past year, the citizens’ behaviours changed as well; the passion Egyptians had for culture changed, as did their priorities. The sight of entire families with little children heading to watch a film is no longer a norm, while hitting up musical plays and clubs replaced the sights.
Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) issued Monday the Annual Cultural statistics bulletin, which compares the numbers of cultural elements – books, libraries, cinemas, theatres, and newspapers – between 2013 and 2014.The statistics indicate people’s interests recently developed in some cultural entities and compared it to their interest regarding the same entities to indicate the change that occurred within a year.
The number of cinemas decreased by 11% in 2014 compared to 2013. On the other hand, the number of theatres increased by 7% as did the numbers of plays. About 488,000 people watched theatre plays during 2014, while only 314,000 people did the same in 2013.
“People’s attitude towards cinemas and theatres changed due to changes what happened within society,” art critic Sameh Tawfik said.
“Nowadays, films have become available to online watch a few days after their cinema release date. After a few months, people can see them in the privacy of their homes on TV channels that compete to air the newest first. Why would they pay a lot of money for something they can see for free a few days later?”
Sociology professor Samia Khedr agreed with Tawfik, adding that people now tend to see live shows since they are more credible and interactive than movies, most of which evolve around pain, blood, and violence.
“If people found movies as respectful as they were before, they would flock to watch them, but all of the movies now are emotionally depleting,” she said.
When it came to information sources, the number of books and libraries increased by 14% compared to 2013 while the number of distributed newspapers locally and internationally decreased by almost 14% within the same year.
As for attendees at museums and parks, their number increased by 7% in 2014, while the number of archaeological sites decreased by 3%.
Terrorism definitely affected the largest number of visits to historical places, according to Khedr. Fear took control of them, since those areas are usually targeted by terrorists. Yet nowadays, the situation now shows that people are starting to feel safe again.