FILM IKHWANY | THE CENSORED
17 - 26 Oct | Hardy Tree Gallery | London
"I was invited to be part of 'In the City' ; an exhibition happening in P21 gallery, London, dealing with the four Arab cities of Alexandria, Algiers, Baghdad and Nablus. I represented Alexandria through my 'Film Ikhwany' project. However, I was shocked to find my works censored because it was deemed “too risky”. The project was then exhibited in Hardy Tree Gallery, London. Under the name of "The censored"."
After the great revolution of the Arab Spring countries for achieving a democratic state, Egyptians fell shortly in the entrapment of religious fascism. We were surprised to find the Muslim Brotherhood domination over the revolutionary voices that ousted Mubarak. Egyptians, for the very first time, were flooded by the islamist currents that no one ever estimated their vast real numbers. This is because since the early days of Abdel Nasser, former Egyptian president, they were detained in prisons. So the brotherhood members, like many islamists broke out of prisons, during the 18 days of January 25 revolution, hungry to rule.
The brotherhood ruling have been adversely affecting Egypt, from this stand my project " Film Ikhwany" emerges - a reaction of a normal Egyptian citizen living in the rapid world of islamists, quickly changing into a religious state, either through the rapid appearance of the bearded men and niqabi women in the streets, or a media that overturned Egyptian homes into a 24/7 live news channel for the past 2 years, or the implementing of new safety measures on the average citizen that we have been pushed to with our Egypt became a state of no-law & order, mounting with chaos.
"Film Ikhwany" is my expression to denying the brotherhoodization of our beautiful Egypt. The new reality that unfortunately we are living. Its like the spread of a deadly epidemic throughout the nation. And the sacred relationship /bond between the citizen and his/her nation inherited through thousands of years that could never be broken.
I portrayed my feelings into a series of movie-posters with the Islamist president taking the lead. Each time in a different character; once as a joker the other as a Pharaoh. And once just by changing a slight detail in Morsy's original presidential poster from the slogan being "النهضة إرادة شعب" to "الفتنة إبادة شعب " with a difference in his balance symbol. My posters depicted that the religious facisim that Egypt is living is being directed and written by USA & Israel and executed by the so called muslim brotherhood.
The movie series portray Morsy with dual personalities in sarcasm, reflecting real insights/characteristics of both the MuslimBrotherhood and consequently Egypt's current affairs.
True Intention : This is the original presidential poster of Morsy, altered slightly to show the truth of his hidden agenda. His original campaign slogan is "النهضة إرادة شعب" ; meaning "Renaissance is the people's will" into " الفتنة، إبادة شعب "; meaning "The Secterian Strife demolishes the nation."
The Truth of the game has been revealed : As most of the Egyptians (even the ones who weren't fortunate enough to get a good level of education) have discovered the reasons behind what has been happening to our country, the reality of Muslim brotherhood and most importantly its strong allies/supporters, Morsy becomes just another losing card to the bigger game that was intentionally played to bring this nation to an end just like what happened in Iraq and Syria.
Puppet/Fool : "The narrow lane" is a statement Morsy have repeatedly stated in his formal speeches. He referred to that he has full control over the people even the ones in far and narrow places. People have turned this into a commonly used joke. After what happened on 30th July 2013, now, he is the mouse in the narrow lane.
The End/True Intention : This poster shows the burning down of the hidden demon. The smoke is manipulated in such it forms the beard (which became the main representative to the extremist identity) and the 2 corns of the devil classic representation.
Awareness/Will/Entrappment : The mincer is an ink illustration which is a representation of the entrappment and the final end of the muslimbrotherhood symbols one by one.
Awareness/Will/Entrappment : Kazuza is a very Egyptian Slang word to describe a cold Soda drink. This poster is an ink illustration of a Morsy entrapped in a Soda with "هنفوركو واحد واحد" ; meaning " we will resolve you one by one" as the title on the pack. The opener on the other hand is labelled "الشعب"; meaning "the people".
Dictatorship: The story of Egypt's most famous dictator, returns to life in the form of Morsy.
Illiteracy/Poverty/Unchained : This poster shows the turning point of the Muslim BrotherHood, from being underground for years and suddenly being in the position of running a country. Although the Muslim Brotherhood succeeded to establish internationally supported network (for various reasons and common benefits), the situation in Egypt for the past years from poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, had made a large sum of the population a very fertile candidate to become just another robot controlled by a bigger puppet.
Terrorism : Morsy in the Massacre, which indicates the violence/terrorism all over the country & slaughtery of innocent Egyptian souls that has happened over the period of his ruling and even after he was brought down.
Conspiracy : The story of Morsy, portrayed as the villain/head mafia member, and his troop/followers.
Other than being used for entertainment. The entire sense of Egyptians dealing with politics and free expression without being always in danger has remarkably changed. One of the valid evidences for that is the outburst of Graffiti in the ordinary Egyptian street. I would hope that new mediums of showcasing free expression in a visually interesting and intriguing ways to develop. Very personal gadgets such as skateboards could be one of the attractive ways of passing a message in the streets. TV and traditional media have almost become obsolete and untrusted now by most of the populations, thus designers, advertisers and visual artists should always come up with new ideas to cope with the constantly changing reality.
THE POSTAGE STAMPS
In line to the posters and newspaper designs, which are mainly mediums of internal promotion/media within the country. It was an essential decision to apply these designs on a medium that would hypothetically reach the outer world. The postage stamps through history have been one of the most used mediums to carry a whole nation's personality in that small piece of paper. However, most of the countries portray their assets/civilizations/ city highlights as the landmark presentation of their identities. I see Egypt's incredibly growing political awareness (even if the pathway is heavily problematic) and strong will to change its destiny, the perfect facade to showcase to the entire world.