Since massive protests erupted throughout Egypt last January, Egyptians
from all walks of life have taken the streets to demand the end of military
rule. They included artists, actors, singers and musicians who joined with
their fellow revolutionaries in street battles with police, soldiers and thugs.
Last February, when they managed to seize control of Tahrir Square, they
formed an organization, called the Revolutionary Artists Union, painting,
drawing, singing and performing, expressing themselves freely for the first
time in their lives. As a second uprising took place in December, they
to Tahrir Square…
SAMY AL-MORSI, VISUAL ARTIST (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): My name is Samy al-Morsi. I am a visual artist. I am one of the founders of the Revolutionary Artists Union since 25 January. As you can see, all of us here are youth and are gathered for the love of our country. We are here to express ourselves about all of the events that have happened, continue to take place, by using art, pencils, and a paintbrush. Here I am depicting that the people are the doves of peace. The people are shown by the symbolic dove of peace, the olive branch, and an endlessly serene and pure Egyptian society. There’s some wheat depicting Egyptian kindness and virtue. These are the very people protecting Egypt and bringing them back to their roots. The hand represents the army, the old regime which still remains, and partisan politics, who don’t care about us and are trying to annihilate us. I believe that all of the martyrs in heaven are our brothers and sisters. I believe they are lions that have sacrificed their lives for the rest of our survival. They cared less about prestige and more about how much they loved and were devoted to this country. This piece depicts that feeling. This is Ahmed Harara, who lost his eye during the Mohammed Mahmoud battle. The first one was lost on January 25, but now he’s lost both of his eyes. This only further demonstrates why I feel we need to use our pencils to express ourselves. Using this pencil on any canvas will allow us to depict our emotions. Nobody acknowledges us. We need to all stand together as one people, hand in hand, for the love of our country, without differentiating between Muslim or Christian, big or small. As long as we have love among the people, we will remain free and we won’t allow anyone to judge us or trample on us, nor diminish our freedoms and keep us silent.
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