Dear Friends, Family and Fellow Travelers
I’m tremendously excited to announce that I will be speaking that the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE)’s Northwest Chapter on December 3rd at the University of Washington. I will be lecturing on the use of ancient Egyptian iconography in the Arab Spring street art. Speaking at the very prestigious American Research Center in Egypt is a dream com true, though not quite how I expected.
Started in 1948, the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) is a nonprofit organization which supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, encourages broader knowledge about Egypt among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural relations. ARCE funds many of the top archaeology research and conservation projects in Egypt. Its work is critical in both learning about Ancient Egyptian culture, but also in preserving the antiquities. ARCE is one of the most prestigious organizations in the archaeology field – not just in Egyptology. You can thank them for the fact that you can still walk the halls of Karnak. get up close and personal with the New Kingdom Pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings, that we know that slaves (and aliens ) did NOT build the pyramids, any many other of the major archaeological finds and also that the sites are preserved enough for us to visit them.
I attended my very first ARCE lecture as an archaeology student at the University of Washington. I was studying Egyptology; it was exciting to be able to listen to presentations by top Egyptologists. I attended as many ARCE lectures as I could, listening to research by greats such as Dr. Mark Lehner, Dr. Kent Weeks, Gay Robbins, Dr. Salima Ikram, and many others. I attended my first ARCE conference shortly after graduating university when the annual ARCE conference was held in Seattle. Attending presentations by Dr. Mark Lehner (We can thank him for pretty much everything we known about the workers who built the Great Pyramid.) and Dr. Gunter Dreyer (His work at Abydos and Umm el-Qa’ab is legendary. Without Dr. Dreyer we’d know very little about the earliest, most powerful Pharaohs.) were two big bucket list items I was able to check off at this conference. I thought that someday I might speak at ARCE through archaeological research and study. Then life took me down another path — to climbing, running a magazine, traveling and photography. Life has a funny way of coming full circle in the most unexpected ways.
After working as an Osteoarchaeologist briefly after university, I founded North America’s first woman’s climbing magazine, then embarked on a journey as a photographer, before launching ArchaeoAdventures, a company which runs women-powered tours to the Middle East and North Africa. In early 2012, I started a project to document the stunning artwork that was being made during Egypt’s Arab Spring. This project became known as War on Walls. What started just as a way to photograph the beautiful art being made on the streets of Cairo (much of it containing Ancient Egyptian iconography), soon evolved into a book, lecture series and exhibit in Seattle. My photography project was also featured in a number of magazines and publications, including National Geographic Traveller India and the upcoming edition of Aspect:Ratio Photography Magazine.
And through this photography project, I’m led back to my first love, Egyptology. And I get to realize decade and a half old dream. On December 3rd, I will be lecturing at ARCE’s Northwest Chapter on how ancient Egyptian iconography and motifs were utilized by artists in the Arab Spring street art. We’re still confirming the room location, but the presentation will be at the University of Washington. You can register to attend on the ARCE Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1627424134176395/
I look forward to seeing you all there!
More on this presentation:
Street art was a defining feature of the Egyptian revolution: raising awareness of political and economic issues, pressuring the regime and governing bodies for change, injecting dark humor into turbulent times, and providing a visual memory of important events and individuals. As Egypt’s Arab Spring progressed, the street art evolved to incorporate classic ancient Egyptian iconography. Street artists utilized both famous ancient Egyptian art scenes and traditional funerary art themes to criticize the Mubarak regime and military, pose political questions, and also honor those who had been injured or died during the early clashes of the Arab Spring. The emerging street art movement was a creative expression of the Egyptian people’s frustration and desire for freedom, as well as a way to physically reclaim space in Cairo as belonging to the people rather than the government. In this presentation, editorial and documentary photographer Genevieve Hathaway will discuss her project War on Walls, documenting Egypt’s Arab Spring street art movement. She will share how it arose, the importance of incorporating ancient Egyptian art themes, and this art movement’s evolution throughout the Arab Spring. She will address the important socio-political impact the street art had in Egypt and the actual change it spurred.
Project website: http://waronwalls.com/