Though activism through art is an idea that has been used and mastered by many artists since as far as anyone can remember, the initiative itself can make all the difference. From artists using different causes to gain publicity and others supporting only what is fashionable, the idea can be trite and distasteful at times. Independent initiatives can be a breath of fresh air as the one from artist Hady Kamar who is trying to make his contribution to the causes he supports, one T-shirt at a time.
Kamar believes very strongly in the Palestinian cause and wanted to create a line of custom-made T-shirts that declare support for Gaza, in the hope that it could go viral in other places around the world. “The idea started when I was in New York city and I saw an ad that lent its support to Gaza and I immediately liked it and imagined an initiative where everyone in every city around the world would declare their support to Gaza on their own terms,” said Kamar.
For Kamar, as an artist, designing the T-shirts may have been an easier task than the average person who may want to take this initiative up where they live, but Kamar provided a step-by-step guide on how to make the T-shirts, packed with pictures and detailed information.
The T-shirts have the words “Cairo to Gaza”, in Arabic written on the front and “Free Gaza” on the back.
The launch of the initiative was commemorated by an event at the rooftop studio in downtown where a limited number of T-shirts were sold for EGP 80, along with food, snacks, and drinks.
Kamar launched a website that will be the epicentre of this initiative, where the detailed information on how to make the T-shirts is included and which will lead, he hopes, to the initiative going global and inspire people around the world to have an initiative for each city.
“I realise that this is just a small initiative and it is a small contribution, but it is what I, as an artist, can do. We hope that the design will catch on and bring awareness to the cause and our hope is to see it in every city, independently from where it started, to signal universal support for Gaza,” said Kamar.
Whether the idea catches on or not, the initiative’s beauty comes from its simplicity; people can implement the idea however they like and only a few criteria would be needed to maintain uniformity and keep it as a single campaign. The project is aptly called Everywhere to Gaza. The website has now launched and is waiting to be accessed; providing people with the means to support Gaza, from their city, in their language, and of course, in their size.