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Showing posts from 2011

Stories from an Imaginary Revolution: Sing!

Page one of Sing!

In Arabic…  All you lovely Arabic editors out there: Please correct, my written is awful.

Stories from an Imaginary Revolution

While many films have been made about the Egyptian revolution, many of them with very similar names, and many books have been written about it, very little actual storytelling seems to have happened, stories that leave realism behind and talk about the underlying spirit, or the meta of events, adding imagination to politics and a soul to culture.

I wrote my first short comic book script in years yesterday. 1
It's called "Sing!" and attempts to thematise the power of music and song in resistance. It may fall flat on its face, but I'm gonna draw it anyway, let's see where it goes. It helps that the characters took mental shape as I was writing. So, don't expect to see much of me in the next days.

The title is: Stories from the imaginary Revolution 1, implying that more are to follow. The concept is not exclusive to me and intends to bring together more than one imagination, so if anyone feels like joining in, please do.

Milyoneyya Far3oneyya

This is a reaction to January. What still bothers me is the lack of Pharoe… Maybe someone will come up with one.

Updated version to follow.

Avoiding the Media

In an attempt to avoid all media on Friday, I stayed at home and worked on a website. The day after, in spite of rather pressing social commitments, a friend kidnapped me and took me to a Schumann (Bert? I may have the wrong Shu here), mostly to keep me from going crazy from watching the current round of violence in Egypt. 

Having missed an office party, clashes in Egypt, a Tsunami in the Philippines and dire warnings for the Eurozone, some festivities in Wedding, I woke up one morning feeling the world was, in its own weird way, alright. My parents have flown to Cairo and are happily on holiday there.

Except, as it turns out, during my self-imposed media blackout, civil war seems to have erupted in Egypt. My only indication of this was a comment by a friend "Why is Goldfish posting so many horrible pics on Facebook?" This morning, scanning my feeds, I read of "clashes", "fires", "military attacks protesters", "Prime Minister denies violence&…

Preak Sneview!

That's about it, for now.

Spring Lessons: Tahrir Berlin | تحرير برلين

Tahrir: Berlin | تحرير برلين collects the opinion of protesters on the streets of European cities.

We start out with a collection of opinions, spoken at a demonstration against the Egyptian Military Regime in front of the foreign office in Berlin on the 26th of November 2011.

It is difficult to watch a revolution happening from afar, especially when your heart is very much rooted in your home country. In stead of shouting at the wall, a cameraman was in place to record the opinions of the individual protesters.

The need for documentation is one of the things we learned from spring. Welcome to winter.

This is an initiative by Spring Lessons, supported by OMRAS.

Spring Lessons: Egyptians in Germany to all revolutionaries in #Tahrir, #Egypt

Part of Spring Lessons is not just documentation, but active participation in giving people a voice and finding simple, yet effective ways of doing so.

In this case, noticing that demonstrations in Berlin consisted mostly in a lot of shouting at walls, a team went out to give the participants in a demonstration in front of the German Foreign Office in Berlin the possiblity  to relay their statements directly to Egypt. We shot about 35 15- second segments, recording the name and demand of the individual interviewee.

Thanks to the hard and wonderful work of Kareem Kandiel, who shot and edited this. Marianne Wagdy, translator extraordinaire is responsible for the subtitles.

I hope other Egyptians across the world will take up this idea and emulate it.

What are the Spring Lessons?

Spring Lessons / دروس الربيع

This is to say that this now exists:

Spring Lessons / دروس الربيع Initiative
is an international network for socio-
cultural events ----------------------------------------------------
We are an international network of artists, academics, curators, designers, filmmakers, journalists, musicians, storytellers, teachers and others who support, initiate and carry out cutural projects that further an understanding of freedom of speech & space, human rights and a global dialogue.
In the wake of the uprisings in Arab countries, the Middle East, Gulf states and MENA region, an incredible wealth of new images, sounds and sensations have reached the world.

In turn violent, beautiful, moving or shocking, this input has also generated an unprecedented artistic and cultural activity and international recognition for artists and cultural activists from the region. The uprisings have also inspired people worldwide to re-examine the situation closer to home and to look for new solutio…

Rant: On voting in Egypt

Voting in the Egyptian Parliamentary elections has become a very complicated issue.

Beginning with about 50 parties, with daily additions and subtractions from the rolls, continuing with the three-month process of electing those parties to office across provinces, combined with continuing violence in Egyptian cities, at a lull now, result in an unstable mixture of emotion, politics. international concern and personal stories.

A clash of voices and jokes about teargas and mustard gas being used to subdue protesters, calls to boycott the elections, Egyptians abroad having to vote until Saturday getting notice of it today, Islamist losing in popularity, the appointment of a new Prime Minister by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (or SCAF, for those tired of writing about them), the formation of a National Salvation Government.

We remember January as we take to the streets in Berlin, in more than one way. It's cold and our toes are freezing off as we stand in front of the Egyptian E…

The Egypt Electionnaire PT 1: Design

Did I ever mention that I've been working on a project I actually grew to love as I understood more about it?

The Egypt Electionnaire is, for me, a very political project.

Based on a July survey of the parties on the electoral Roll for the November Parliamiamentary elections in Egypt by ANHRI & MICT, it asks the user 29 questions. These were asked of the parties during the survey. It then calculates the best suited party for the voter according to concurrences in answers to the questions and displays the result. It's that simple, really.

The making of it involved some reflection on the circumstances in Egypt, the flow of thought in the country, the political and social currents. And finally arriving to the conclusion that if people are to vote, they should be able to inform themselves from independent sources and be offered assistance before making their choice of party.

By the making of the electionnaire itself hangs a tale, which will be told. In a bit of time.

Before we …

My Other Story…

… is actually Saras story, an installation & Event on at the Maximilliansforum in Munich until the Beginning of December.

I just provided some Arrows for pointed storytelling. 

Palästinah — El Flyer!

Flyers printed. 'nuff Sed.

Event: Funkenschlag / Flächenbrand

A project I'l like to recommend here is the exhibition and process workshop Funkenschlag / Flächenbrand at the OKK in Wedding (Prinzenallee 29, near  u8 Pankstr), featuring Art and contributions from many Arab countries

Have a few unedited pics of what it looked like a couple of days ago. It probably changed completely by now.

Also: The Egypt day is on the 13th. More to come.

IGAF: The return of — a meta post.

Caramblogage is a strange beast that has found its way back to its roots in some fashion.

When we started out, sometime around 2004, I was fresh out of English Lit, a freshman in graphic design. At the time, a place was needed to put down words on screen, no matter who would read them. So, this was the place to put them. An irregular series called Is Goodness a Fashion documented random thoughts on technology, advertising, society and, in it's fourth installment, ecology.

The aim was to explore, mostly for myself, current topics I felt I should know a thing or two about. At the time, mostly due to age, I felt that I knew enough about anything to write at length and in detail, about everything.

Now, due maybe some maturity acquired in the process of aging, I try and research what I write about before I write it. That explains the current nature of this beast: research is hard and time-consuming work. So in stead of researching an entirely new topic every few weeks, I made a decisio…

El Modulor modular!

One of my favourite expensive shops for materials, pens and Anything I Could Ever Think I Needed For Anything shops is supporting Palästinah!

Hooray for Modulor!

Of course, also to be found here.

Hmm… I think this strange feeling may be excitement. To be…

فلسطنا – Now online!

I'm slightly exhausted (though generally ebullient) to announce that the Palestine exhibition has gained a web presence! It will develop over the course of the next few weeks as we push towards the November Programme, so watch that space!

You can find it here.

Click the like button and see what happens.

PalästiNah — Inherited Hope (in English)

English Version of what we've been saying in German:

Since 1948 three generations of Palestinians have endured the bitter taste of enforced exile. 40% of these refugees are under 15 years old. The exhibition PalästiNah — Inherited Hope documents the twisted  normality of their everyday life.

The pictures on display were taken by Palestinian refugee children, Maya and Nadia Graßmann and Selim Harbi. They document the current situation in Rashidiya, Sabra and Shatila.

This event is supported by OMRAS, the Organisation for Human Rights in Arab Countries.

Art Direction: Caram Kapp

With special thanks to Johannes Moll
September 30th 2011 | 18:00
Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg
Prinzenstraße 85 F 


— Selim Harbi:


— TAK :

To this, I will add that the Vernissage is t…

Palästinah: Inherited hope

It's work in rapid progress.

Moving from one name to the next and the design progresses with it.

Pictures soon.

Opening on the 30th. Here.

Rant: On two Walls

Today, I stumbled across this on twitter:

And off we go:

While I have a lot of admiration for both the comic book and the movie, V is a step back in my opinion. V is a symbol for anarchy and bringing down a corrupt system through any means necessary.
Yes, V is an inspiration to everyone in that he will go to any length, and risk any collateral damage to achieve his goal of liberation. He will bomb, play music, usurp the media and established structures to further his aims. Some of this is a good idea, other methods result in unexpected results. A good way to destabilise above structures and send a shock through the public conscience and awareness of the effectiveness of the oil that keeps the gears going somehow. 
What is worrying about V is that, a path s opened through such action, which may lead to a fundamental shift in society and the way it is governed, or governs itself. The underlying ideals justify the action and society is left to get on after the ultimate sacrifice is made …

Sketching Palestinian DNA

Above, you can see the working title and result of real life events:

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a couple of great people with an idea that needed to be developped into a concept. The idea was an exhibition about Palestinian life and childhood as a refugee in Lebanon.

In addition to this, we shall be staging a programme revolving around the theme in November, featuring dance, poetry, video and of course the photos.

Selim Harbi you may know. He had a starring role in the Haus der Kulturen exhibition in which we presented pictures from the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

Nadia and Maya Grassmann were in Lebanon in 2009, where they gave children analogue cameras to play with. We will be showing their perspective on childhood as a palestinian refugee.

The photo exhibition will be launching on the 30th of September at the Teather Aufbau Kreuzberg during their opening day do. Details to follow, as is a less sketchy version of events.

The picture used here is by Selim.

Newerish calling card inbetween two versions update.

Final Result:
------------------------------------------------------ Process -----------------------------------------

My webpage is a constant source of entertainment and finger-training for me.  Upon realising that it served me best as a calling card, that is what has become. 
This one is definitely a work in progress. Oh and look! It tweets. Nonsense. With vigour. The webpage that is. 
UPDATE I don't like it. Back to the drawing board.
UPDATE II: The layout wasn't bothering me as much as the colour combination. Hence: now with added circles!
UPDATE III: This will keep me happy for now. 

Now to optimise prime.

Update IV:

Still with added circles and blingy things (I've recieved some complaints about them, but for now they just feel right) and a few hidden functions within, this will rest for now. Also hooray for social integrationalisms! 
That was fun. Good night.
PS: It does say illustrator somewhere on that page…

The Little Book of Fears — The Movie!

I've been talking about this one for months, haven't I?

One of the difficulties with this project is explaining the fun it is live. Usually, I'll say something like:"You know, it's like one of those umumum kids' books that have a head and a middle and feet and then umumum you flip through it and make up figures. It's about fear. Oh, and it has explanations in the back."

That's where friends (Thanks Jovita!) and cameras come in. In stead of going through the verbal  motions again and again, they made it possible to record the experience that is the Little Book of Fears, thus providing the viewer with a nonverbal and direct explanation that works better than most words I have hitherto come up with to explain this.

It is also my first foray into stop-motion shot in natural light, which was a joy to make, from the shoot to the selection of the individual frames that would make up the film to the final hectic edit. I wanted it to be slightly jarring. …

Coming soon: Be afraid. Be scared…

Something small and frightening this way comes…