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The Random 2016 Archive

It's been a year of quiet introspection for me- a lot of which happened in the form of calligraphic sketches. In what follows, I collect these in an attempt to oder thoughts and create a dialogue between letters- admittedly, talking to myself- and archive them in a digital format. The result is random, at times incoherent, just as the year that it charts left little room for a consistent focus- much needed. As it draws to a close, I find myself looking forward with renewed hope- not in political systems, or economic ones, but in the ability of people to look beyond their differences and discover the common goals that lie beyond apparent divisions. This may sound very old-fashioned, and possibly not outraged. The challenges that face the world as a whole go beyond petty economics and the global theatre of politics and national securities (in fact, they may be caused by the preceding), they are global in scope and will affect most lives. Brand this fake news (it ain't news) if y…

#MeMu's: La Vache qui Rit (Adham Bakry, 2010)

La Vache qui rit is a brand of french processed cheese popular in Egypt. The packaging presents the consumer with the image of a laughing, happy cow. For years- since 1991 according to one author, this was the Egyptians nickname for their president, referencing his rural background and portraying him as a peasant. Additionally, it associated him with foreign imports and a particularly soft cheese that spreads easily on any kind of bread.

Prior to 2010, this nickname was mainly used verbally, in jokes or asides, but was popular with a people known for their sense of humour and sarcasm. In 2010, in the run-up to rigged parliamentary elections, Adham Bakry formalised the symbol by designing a sticker depicting a pink, crossed out Vache qui rit Logo (1). This visual reference to the thus branded president was taken up, both by demonstrators on Tahrir square (3), leaving outside observers to wonder at why the Egyptian people were demanding bread, freedom, social justice and no processed che…

#MeMus: You look somewhat bookish

Amongst many other things, the MeMu's are an evolving set of volumes.

This is a quick development shot from v2's dummy.

#MeMu: Hope Poster (Shepeard Fairy, 2007)

In 2008, Barack Hussein Obama was seen by many across the world as a vehicle for change. His anti-war rhetoric, apparent sincerity, embrace of youth culture and progressive domestic agenda made him the American president the world would vote for. During his election campaign, which used elements of social media marketing, viral and crowd-sourced advertising, Amber Lee Ettinger became Obama Girl, will.i.am produced the song “We Are The Ones“ to express his support of the candidate alongside various American Celebrities. Shepeard Fairey, who came to fame for producing the Obey Giant posters, independently designed an iconic poster (1), based on a photograph by Manny Garcia.
The artists intention, to create a poster that would “deracialise Mr. Obama, […] something that would elevate him to iconic status in the vein of people who had [preceded] him…” proved successful, as the poster became one of the central images of the campaign. 350 000 posters subtitled “Hope” were produced during the …