The period after the 25 January uprising became a major outlet of expression for a lot of Egyptian artists who were previously largely inaccessible or unknown to the public. Art forms as graffiti have now moved from the status of vandalism to a newly-appreciated form of visual art.
In conjunction with this change in the art scene, everything from the art spaces to the subject matter has changed as well and new discussions are taking place to reflect the new reality Egyptian artists live in today.
Providing these artists who have emerged on the changing scene with the means and knowledge to express themselves is what Mashrou3 Hagar, or Hagar’s project, does. The project is concerned with Egyptian women and the expression of related issues through art.
Darb 1718 and the European Union teamed up in 2012 to organise discussions and training workshops for Egyptian artists with the aim of producing a variety of artworks that will be exhibited in three locations in Egypt; Alexandria, Aswan and Cairo.
During June and July of 2012, European artists and curators gave trainings and workshops to Egyptian artists as part of cultural exchange. Several Egyptian NGOs also shared their expertise on women in Egypt with the artists.
Some of the artists included Maxa Zoller from the UK, Caram Kapp and Sara-Duana Meyer from Germany, Adrien Sina from France and Marianne Hultman from Norway and they discussed topics that included feminist practices, feminine imagery in urban space and Cairene women.
The project focused on young and emerging artists with an emphasis on certain types of media such as video art, photography, graphic design and street art. The project was designed to prompt artists to ask why art empowers and provide technical training. The resulting works will be featured in the exhibition that will tour the three cities.
The exhibition goes on from 29 November all the way to 25 February 2013. It will start in Alexandria on 29 November until 14 December, will be in Aswan from 18 until 30 December and will finally be on display in Cairo from 9 to 25 February 2013.