Week 3: Ganzeer, Awad, and the Art Revolution

This week, I chose to focus my articles, once again, on the revolution of art after the uprisings of January 25th, but focused on two influential artists that continue to work for the people even after the revolution: Alaa Awad and Ganzeer. The first article titled, “Egypt’s Powerful Street Art Packs a Punch” is written by Alastair Sooke and focuses on how the revolution shaped the art scene in Egypt, pertaining specifically to the street art. Sooke brings in Alaa Awad to talk about the main idea behind his art. To which Awad says that he “just [wants to] go out and paint something for people on the street” because he feels that the government has “forgotten the people.” Awad, however, it seems, has not and he uses his art to try to remind people that he has not forgotten who they used to be either. The second article, “Hieroglyphics That Won’t Be Silenced: Ganzeer Takes Protest Art Beyond Egypt” by Barbara Pollack who introduced Ganzeer, an Egyptian street artist who was influential in the uprisings after January 25th, and the struggles he has faced since. Ganzeer had been singled out  as a “recruitment of the Muslim Brotherhood” and was forced to flee the country to the United States, where he now tries to garner media and political attention about the events going on in Egypt. I used both of these articles because I believed they connected to some of the readings from Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution. The first article relates to the woman from Chapter 3, who views the revolution as a voice in the same way that Awad had and she uses her memories to believe in what Egypt can be (which, in her childhood, was a place of prosperity) which is similar to how Awad believes that the Egyptian people can be restored to their former glory. The second article reminded me of how the man from the second chapter, who moved to London and uses media to keep in touch with his friends over there in light of the revolution. In the same way, Ganzeer now works abroad trying to keep in touch and works on the revolution from a more different place in a very different way than he previously had.

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