My upcoming Exhibition, War on Walls: Egypt’s Arab Spring street art, is moving into its final phase of preparation. For those
who haven’t heard, I’m displaying my photography project War on Walls in Seattle January 11- February 15, 2015. War on Walls is a photography project to document Egypt’s important and provocative Arab Spring street art. 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. The street artists’ work featured revolutionary slogans, criticisms of the government, portraits of government figures, tributes to martyrs, comments on social issues, and depictions of key events. 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.
Living on Tahrir Square, I observed the wall art grow and change to reflect current events and the demands for social, political and economic change. These increasingly complex, yet temporary murals were not political organs of any particular group. Rather, they were created and funded by the artists themselves, who spent thousands of Egyptian Pounds (EGP) to create these paintings, only to have the government eventually white wash the walls to remove them. Nonetheless, the wall art became more and more complex and expansive as the Arab Spring wore on.
I was inspired by the artists’ dedication to creating these complex, culturally significant expressions of the Egyptian peoples’ complaints and demands, knowing the ephemeral life that each masterpiece would have. The photographs in this exhibit are my effort to preserve some important examples of this extraordinary art movement.
I’m in the processing of printing and framing the 15 stunning images that will comprise the bulk of the exhibit (this limited
edition prints will be available for purchase after the exhibit closes). I’ve been learning a lot about what it takes to fund, put together and hold and exhibition. Turns out its only 20% exhibition and 80% researching, grant writing, coordinating, designing the exhibit and emails, emails, emails. I’m excited to be in the home stretch. I just visited my amazing printer, The Color Group, and picked up all my prints. They look gorgeous and do justice to both the photographs and the street art. Dropping off the prints at my framer, Juanita who owns Frame It, I can see this exhibit being ready to install in January 9th. Stay tuned for all the details on the exhibition opening and evening events.