– On the 25th of November, an open introductory session about the project was held at RUFY‘s art center. There, Aya Tarek, a pop/street artist and the main organizer of the workshop, discussed street art on a global and a local level.
“The main point behind our project is to build an organized Egyptian street art movement,”, Aya explained. “The majority of Egyptians have never been to an art gallery in their lives, simply because the art presented in such white cubes doesn’t reflect them; it doesn’t reflect their realities. It’s mostly westernized and made for the enjoyment of certain highly-sophisticated group of people. Art should not be limited, it should open for everyone, so if Egyptians still fail to reach art, we will bring art to them, to a wall just around the corner.”
Aya, sarcastically, replied those who claim that there is no street art in Egypt, showing various pictures of street art, done all over Alexandria, using primitive methods and techniques. There is no sense of planning behind such works, nor do they have any strong conceptual value. They were merely done for advertising (Hair removal products, Spiritual treatment Hotline, etc..) or done as reminders to constantly praise Allah (إن الله يراك! فاخشه) or even done to express personal emotions, vividly, like (Halazon <3 Koki) or (Hamada, sex 0124858715)
Here are some samples of the Graffiti (7’araffiti?) done all over Alexandria:
“If done in an organized manner, street art could really beautify the city and could become a strong method to self-express and create freely, in public space, beyond the rims of the classic art forms.”, Aya explained.
She also discussed the work of the few groups/individual artists, who focused either fully or partially on street art, like (فوق وتحت) who are considered the first group of young artists, based in Alexandria, Egypt, to focus totally on street art, inspiring others to follow their footsteps. After the break-up of the group, all the members are still active and working solo.
Finally, Aya showed different styles of street art done all over the world, hoping that one day, there will be an active, organized street art scene, in Egypt. *sighs*
Artists mentioned in the talk:
– BLU (Europe)
– Os Gemeos. (South America)
– Icy (Iran)
– فوق وتحت (Egypt)
More about Aya Tarek:
Aya Tarek was born on the 14 of November, 1989. Her work is based in Alexandria, Egypt. She is currently a student in the faculty of fine arts, painting department. Aya established her own art studio in August, 2008. She also started observing her work with refreshing concepts through her activity as Urban/street artist, exposing the perplexing issues of gender minorities on public space.
She participated in various workshops and group exhibitions. She is also a participant in (pick4) exhibition at townhouse gallery in Cairo. She is currently working on many projects, mostly concerned with reflecting the cultures and the issues of Islamic conservative societies.