Artist Talks

The Writing on the Wall: Graffiti as Art & Commentary During the Arab Spring

Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds.

Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds.

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Panel: Tuesday, July 14 from 1pm to 2pm

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A panel discussion with Mona El-Bayoumi, Amr Mounib, and Dagmar Painter. A light lunch is served at 12:30pm. Talk begins promptly at 1pm.

Click here to RSVP.

This lively panel will discuss the impact of graffiti as an agent of change, showing images of the history of graffiti, the actual artists who climbed the ladders to paint the walls in Cairo, and images from artists recruited to repaint the remnants of the Berlin Wall.

This talk is in conjunction with the exhibition Creative Dissent, at Gallery Al-Quds until 6 August.

Amr Mounib has been practicing photography since he was thirteen years old. After earning his degree in Communications and Visual Media from American University in  Washington, DC, where he won several awards for his work in photography and film, Mounib moved to Europe and worked as a professional  photographer for a decade. He then returned to Washington, DC before retracing his roots in Cairo after 35 years of absence. Mounib’s family has deep roots in theater and television which extend back to the first silent films produced in Egypt by his grandfather, Fawzi Mounib. His grandmother, Mary Mounib, was named Egypt’s “Empress of Comedy” for her film and theater work. His father was a television producer and host of several interview and game programs. He has exhibited both his journalistic and fine art photography in the United States and abroad. See Mounib’s interview on BBC.

Mona El-Bayoumi is an American artist whose artistic vocabulary grew out of her exposure to the politically and socially active university community in East Lansing, Michigan, in the 1960s and 70s, where her parents were professors and activists.  Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Mona pursued a formal arts education at the University of Michigan and later, at Georgetown University, but her idiom has always been steeped in the visual vocabulary of Egypt. Mona El-Bayoumi’s work has been featured in galleries and institutions in the United States as well as internationally, notably in Cairo, Paris and Johannesburg. She draws on her dual American-Egyptian identity to convey her strong feelings about social justice. In a recent exhibition, The Subliminal Seduction of Spring, she explored the use of symbols and metaphors in media as a means of subconsciously conveying messages both political and consumerist, while examining these effects on the Arab Spring.  Her exhibition at Galerie Espace Europia in Paris, Genetically Modified Spring, further explores these ideas through the use of pharaonic iconography translated to the graffiti art now prevalent on the streets of Cairo during the uprisings.

Dagmar Painter is the founder and curator of The Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds. She has lived and worked in the Arab world for more than twelve years and has traveled extensively in the Islamic world for more than 30. For her work in Egypt she received the Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State. Selected publications include Arts in the Islamic World, A Practical Guide to Cairo, Ornament,Cairo Today, Focus on Pakistan, The Herald, India Today, Arts in Embassies, and Savior: Tunis.

About Creative Dissent
This exhibition is designed to immerse visitors in the creative vitality of the continually evolving uprising movement commonly referred to as the Arab Spring. Visitors will experience how freedom of speech merges with artistic expression – capturing the anger, elation, frustration, and hope of these revolutions in the form of graffiti, video, blog postings, cartoons, music, photography and even puppetry. Drawn primarily from protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, Creative Dissent demonstrates the varied responses to the protest in the Arab World beginning in late 2010.

Presented by the Arab American National Museum (AANM) and the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings is guest-curated by Associate Professor of Islamic Art Christiane Gruber of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and Nama Khalil, an artist and anthropology PhD student at UM.

The Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds is located at 2425 Virginia Ave. NW. For more information visit www.thejerusalemfund.org.

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Editorial Team
Authored by: Editorial Team

Post provided by the East City Art Editorial Team.