This week, I shifted my focus onto an artist whose work is completely devoid of political meaning (at least to him) but somehow creeps up and says much about the world: Sad Panda. The artist titled after his postings of sad pandas all over Cairo has chosen to stay anonymous and sticks to himself. The first artifact I explored was an article called “The Melancholy of Sad Panda” by Fatma Ibrahim and Thoraia Abou Bakr, which discussed the idea of why this artist chooses to simply express this sadness. This mainly because he feels that the idea of loss and mourning is not clearly represented in the midst of a revolution where so many people have lost their lives. Though in one way his work seems pessimistic (he says, “sadness is never too far from you”), he brings in the reality of the situation: that job loss, death, a failing economy…all of these things are depressing and should be felt and validated. The second artifact I reviewed was a piece called “In Place of War,” a blog post by Ruth Daniels that explores a specific street art piece that Sad Panda did. This particular piece was a solider throwing a baby into the flames and was (according to the article) meant to be the idea of the dying of the future generation if continuing to be ruled by the current government. Attached was a video of the artist speaking about where he came up with the idea.
At first, when I first analyzed his pieces, I quickly categorized Sad Panda as a cosmopolitan, because he believes in the efforts of the people through networking. However, after analyzing these articles, I also feel like there’s traces of him being an idealist because he wants the government to be reformed in a way that will help Egypt prosper and become a key player in the world.