Week 5: Women, Art, and the Revolution

This week I chose to focus on the art scene in Egypt, specifically through the eyes of the women and what they felt that this revolution meant for them. The first artifact I chose was a blog post entitled “Women in Graffiti: A Tribute to the Women in Egypt” by a blogger called “Suzze.” This post talked about how the western world depicts the women of Egypt as previously uneducated, as if prior to the uprisings the women were unaware of what was going on inside of their society. However, the author believes that it is only now, after the uprisings, that the true struggle and the true defiance that the woman show are being recognized. She argues that the Egyptian women were always fighting, but not necessarily because they were women, but because they were Egyptians. She wanted it to be known that while graffiti artists (and she lists a plethora of them) focused on some of the sexual assault that women were forced into the art also stood against the regime and the society they lived in. The second artifact I chose was a TedTalk by Bahia Shehab, a Lebanese-Egyptian artist and historian, called “A Thousand Times No.” She was first commissioned to investigate an word, and she happened to choose the word “no” in 2010. She compiled a book full of the word from different art pieces from all areas around the globe. Later, after the revolution on January 25th, she felt the need to start stenciling the word after being inspired by seeing it elsewhere and choose to say no to the cruelty, violence, and the dictatorship she saw surrounding her.  I chose both of these artifacts because they both deeply reminded me of the documentary “The Square” and I felt like, unlike in the documentary, I was seeing the way women viewed the revolution. While the documentary expresses the same concerns and voices the same opinions, it was good to see how the women saw these things and how they channeled their energies into their art work to shape their communities.

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