DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




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Posts tagged "Egypt"

Tour the Wonders of Ancient Egypt with Google Street View.

I don’t remember much from my trip to Egypt as a child in the mid-90s. I know that it included seeing the Pyramids of Giza, being too afraid to ride atop a camel, and rushing hurriedly from one place to another as it was part of a two-day layover with my family en route to the United States.

Although I can’t relive those experienes entirely out of poor memory (and a serious lack of photos, come on mum and dad, really?), Google Street View’s latest offering of a virtual multimedia tour of some of the world’s most historic sites is the next best thing.

Through it, Google takes us on an inspirational tour of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Pyramid - the last standing wonder of the ancient world, the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx - the oldest and largest known monumental sculpture in the world, the world’s very first Pyramid designed by the great Egyptian Architect Imhotep in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, and so much more.

See it all here.

FEMEN Egyptian Activist Defaces ISIS Flag in Protest.
In collaboration with controversial radical feminist organization FEMEN, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, an Egyptian blogger, internet activist and women’s rights advocate, has released a photo of herself menstruating on the official Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) flag.
In the photo, Elmahdy squats nude facing the camera as she defaces the ISIS flag and another woman in a similar position, who is partially clothed and seems to be wearing a hijab, defecates on it. Both women  have the letters “IS-IS” painted on their bodies, as well as the official FEMEN logo is painted on the back of the woman throwing her middle finger up. The photo was said to have been posted on Elmahdy’s Facebook account last week Saturday.
Elmahdy has not specified her intentions surrounding this photo but a FEMEN founder Inna Shevchenko has confirmed that the image was made in a response to the alleged murder of US journalist James Foley. A video was recently released that shows the beheading of Foley by a member of ISIS, although the authenticity of it has been questioned. In an interview with VICE, Shevchenko said:

We did this action in the format of photo message as a reply to latest Islamic State video message showing the execution of the journalist [James Foley]. With our photo message we propose our own “way of execution” of Islamic State ideas. Our caption to the photo reads: “Animals, our execution of your ideas looks like that! Watch it well! We don’t demand ransoms, we don’t threaten you with new killings, we just SHIT ON YOU, ISIS!”

Shevchenko also claimed that 23-year-old Elmahdy, who is no stranger to controversial and what some deem provocative forms of activism, has been involve with FEMEN since 2012. The year before, Elmahdy posted a nude photograph of herself on her blog in protest and opposition of Egypt’s conservative Muslim culture. Aside from the outrage she sparked, Elmahdy began to receive a string of rape and death threats after following this, some of which she made available on her blog. In March this year, Elmahdy joined women from Tunisia and Iran to protest outside the Louvre in Paris on International Women’s Day.
Her blog also contains posts such as this photograph of her white boyfriend as ‘Buddha’, kissing the same person in show of her Arab neighbours as a form of protest because he is “non-Arab and non-Muslim”, and this topless protest she participated in at a Mosque in Sweden where she now resides after seeking asylum.
Formed in Ukraine in 2008, FEMEN have been no strangers to controversy with their fiery brand of protest that usually involves nudity, and the occasional sacrilegious antic. But it seems like these very anti-religious actions are not simply about addressing systems that oppress women. Fellow African activist Amina Sboui, a Tunisian who made headlines after posting topless photos of her self online, quit the organization citing Islamaphobia. Elmahdy posted a video of Sboui on her blog earlier this year.
View the NSFW image.
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FEMEN Egyptian Activist Defaces ISIS Flag in Protest.

In collaboration with controversial radical feminist organization FEMEN, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, an Egyptian blogger, internet activist and women’s rights advocate, has released a photo of herself menstruating on the official Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) flag.

In the photo, Elmahdy squats nude facing the camera as she defaces the ISIS flag and another woman in a similar position, who is partially clothed and seems to be wearing a hijab, defecates on it. Both women  have the letters “IS-IS” painted on their bodies, as well as the official FEMEN logo is painted on the back of the woman throwing her middle finger up. The photo was said to have been posted on Elmahdy’s Facebook account last week Saturday.

Elmahdy has not specified her intentions surrounding this photo but a FEMEN founder Inna Shevchenko has confirmed that the image was made in a response to the alleged murder of US journalist James Foley. A video was recently released that shows the beheading of Foley by a member of ISIS, although the authenticity of it has been questioned. In an interview with VICE, Shevchenko said:

We did this action in the format of photo message as a reply to latest Islamic State video message showing the execution of the journalist [James Foley]. With our photo message we propose our own “way of execution” of Islamic State ideas. Our caption to the photo reads: “Animals, our execution of your ideas looks like that! Watch it well! We don’t demand ransoms, we don’t threaten you with new killings, we just SHIT ON YOU, ISIS!”

Shevchenko also claimed that 23-year-old Elmahdy, who is no stranger to controversial and what some deem provocative forms of activism, has been involve with FEMEN since 2012. The year before, Elmahdy posted a nude photograph of herself on her blog in protest and opposition of Egypt’s conservative Muslim culture. Aside from the outrage she sparked, Elmahdy began to receive a string of rape and death threats after following this, some of which she made available on her blog. In March this year, Elmahdy joined women from Tunisia and Iran to protest outside the Louvre in Paris on International Women’s Day.

Her blog also contains posts such as this photograph of her white boyfriend as ‘Buddha’, kissing the same person in show of her Arab neighbours as a form of protest because he is “non-Arab and non-Muslim”, and this topless protest she participated in at a Mosque in Sweden where she now resides after seeking asylum.

Formed in Ukraine in 2008, FEMEN have been no strangers to controversy with their fiery brand of protest that usually involves nudity, and the occasional sacrilegious antic. But it seems like these very anti-religious actions are not simply about addressing systems that oppress women. Fellow African activist Amina Sboui, a Tunisian who made headlines after posting topless photos of her self online, quit the organization citing Islamaphobia. Elmahdy posted a video of Sboui on her blog earlier this year.

View the NSFW image.

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#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?

Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.

Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 

A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”

As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.

In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.
Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.
Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.
Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)
Maya Angelou in Africa: The Egypt and Ghana years.
In the 1950s, Maya Angelou moved to New York where she later met and began a romantic relationship with South African anti-apartheid activist Vusumzi L. Make. The two soon moved to Cairo, Egypt, in 1961 along with Angelou’s son Guy Johnson. Angelou and Make lived together in Cairo for a short time where Angelou served as the editor of the English language weekly publication The Arab Observer.
After separating from Make in 1962, Angelou and her son moved to Accra, Ghana, where Angelou joined many other African-American expatriates living in the country. There, whilst her son attended college and later recovered from an automobile accident, she served as an instructor and assistant administrator at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times and the Ghanaian Broadcasting Company.
During Malcolm X’s 1964 visit to Ghana, the two met in the country’s capital city (pictured) and began corresponding. That same year, Angelou relocated back to the United States with the intention of assisting Malcolm X build his new Organization of Afro-American Unity, however, Malcolm X would be assassinated a few months after her arrival in the US.
Her book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986): Explores Angelou’s experiences living in Ghana with her son from 1962 to 1965.

Maya Angelou in Africa: The Egypt and Ghana years.

In the 1950s, Maya Angelou moved to New York where she later met and began a romantic relationship with South African anti-apartheid activist Vusumzi L. Make. The two soon moved to Cairo, Egypt, in 1961 along with Angelou’s son Guy Johnson. Angelou and Make lived together in Cairo for a short time where Angelou served as the editor of the English language weekly publication The Arab Observer.

After separating from Make in 1962, Angelou and her son moved to Accra, Ghana, where Angelou joined many other African-American expatriates living in the country. There, whilst her son attended college and later recovered from an automobile accident, she served as an instructor and assistant administrator at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times and the Ghanaian Broadcasting Company.

During Malcolm X’s 1964 visit to Ghana, the two met in the country’s capital city (pictured) and began corresponding. That same year, Angelou relocated back to the United States with the intention of assisting Malcolm X build his new Organization of Afro-American Unity, however, Malcolm X would be assassinated a few months after her arrival in the US.

Her book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986): Explores Angelou’s experiences living in Ghana with her son from 1962 to 1965.

Swedish-Egyptian filmmaker Tarik Saleh directs new Lykke Li video.

They’ve worked together in the past and, as expected, their new project is beautiful, tragic, dark, melancholy and full of whirlwind emotions. The ending only leaves one more inquisitive of what tumultuous event transpired between these two lovers.

The song, ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ is lifted from her soon-to-be released album ‘I Never Learn’.

Katy Perry’s no stranger to cultural appropriation, but has the singer transgressed again?

A sneak peak from Katy Perry’s upcoming music video for her single ‘Dark Horse’, featuring Juicy J, reveals the singer channeling what looks like iconic Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

Is this really cultural appropriation or just an example of dress up and role play?

UPDATE: But wait - there’s more! This promo image has just been revealed:

image

Accompanying text: “MEET THE QUEEN OF MEMPHIS (Egypt, that is)”.

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All Africa, All the time.

"Jomaa Meter" Set Up by Tunisian Group to Track Leader’s Performance.

In a similar fashion to Egypt’s “Morsi Meter" that tracked the performance of Mohammed Morsi’s short-lived presidency, the founders of the Morsi meter have helped Tunisian organization "I Watch set-up up a “Jomaa Meter" to evaluate the progress and promises of their leader Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

The founders of the Jomaa meter hope this initiative will help foster a greater sense and culture of accountability in Tunisian politics.

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All Africa, All the time.

Pic of the day: Journalists around the world are uniting for the release of Al Jazeera journalists arrested in Egypt under the hashtag:  #FREEAJSTAFF 

The Egyptian Mona Lisa

I never get bored of people playing around with DaVinci’s, especially when non-Western artists provide their own take on the ever-mysterious painting that is the Mona Lisa.

Here, Egyptian illustrator FaTma WaGdi places herself wearing a hijab in her digital rendition of this 16th century portrait, poking fun at the expressionless original subject.

habibasproject:

299/365

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: Habiba of Habiba’s Project

When travelling to a different country, there’s no better way to get a fulfilling and non-commercialised experience by understanding and navigating terrain that is new and foreign to you with the help of an insider - someone who knows and is sensitive to the intricacies of the culture there.

We’ve all seen tourist images of Egypt and really, they’re the same ol’, same ol’: relics of Ancient Egypt - the Syphnx, pyramids, monuments. and other bastions of this period in history. But the truth is, Egypt is so much more than it’s past and it seems that many still see it as a country that reached its peak in centuries gone by. For this very reason, the work of Egyptian-based photographer Habiba sheds an intimate and important insiders perspective of life in parts of Egypt, mostly Cairo, firsthand.

As part of this month’s focus on ‘Travel & Exploration’, I spoke to Habiba about her experiences photographing sights, sounds and scenes in her own country.

In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?

I am Habiba, a self-taught Egyptian photographer who’s absolutely fascinated by Art & travel. I live in busy Cairo where my inspiration comes from. I try to show the beauty in the simple things I see while adding a touch of my identity even when I travel. I love Architecture and things that bring dynamism to the eye, and that’s what I try to capture.

What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?

I have always wanted to study photography but never really got a chance to, so I decided I need to keep doing what I love and teach myself somehow. Photography is all about practice and trying new things and so a yearly project seemed like a perfect idea to challenge myself and keep up with my progress. I also consider it a way to document special moments and the wonderful underestimated things I see in daily life.

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

The project is really helping me figure out my own style in photography. It pushes me to try new techniques and shoot new things and therefore get better as a photographer. 

In my experience, I learned to shoot with whatever camera I’ve got, whether it’s a phone, digital or film camera, and I learned that good cameras don’t make you a good photographer. Of course, better cameras help with quality but It’s really all about showing the world things from your own creative perspective rather than depending on advanced technology.

Most of all, I learned that the best shots are natural spontaneous ones. Anyone can get a pretty model and ask her to fake a smile but it takes a true photographer to freeze real moments and turn them into Art.

You never accompany your photos with captions, can you explain the reason behind this?

I feel like this helps my audience interact with me and, in a way, get involved in the project. I want them to wonder what this photograph is all about and trigger their imagination. I also really encourage and appreciate questions about my work as well as feedback.

African women photographers seem very hard to come by, something I find incredibly frustrating as both a woman and lover of photography. Do you share these frustrations or have you ever felt that being a woman has ever restricted you in some way from areas in the world of art/photography that men can more easily access?

That is so true! I get so frustrated for the same reason. Of course, it depends on what kind of work the photographer wants to do. For example, I find Travel and Street photography harder for females. It’s no secret that women have not been exactly looked at as equals in many societies for many reasons, so it can be odd for a woman to go out shooting alone in some areas. I also have to admit that I sometimes worry about other people’s reactions to me taking photos of them or something around them, whereas men are usually more brave in cases like these.

To be fair though, it does have its advantages such as shooting sensitive or intimate cases that involve women, or even in wedding photography since the bride can feel more comfortable.

In the end, sexism is an issue suffered around the world in most fields and not just in photography. I am personally not worried because a lot of actions have been taken against this issue so far and more people are becoming aware of it everyday.

Who and or what inspires/motivates you/your work? Any fellow African photographers?

I am always checking Art blogs and websites such as mymodernmet & colossal, nothing inspires me more than seeing good Art by amazing artists around the world.

I can’t think of a specific photographer or artist right now but I have met amazing photographers around where I live that truly inspire me. As for motivation, it’s enough knowing someone appreciates or relates to my work.

Lastly, where else can you be found online? 
I’m one of the few people who are not on Facebook but you can find me on:
Tumblr: habibasproject (365) & bebba (main blog)
DeviantArt & Behance: habibaelg
Thank you for reading! :)

lacloserie:

Egypte + Jérôme Galland Photographer

(via talesofthestarshipregeneration)

Combining logographic and alphabetic elements, hieroglyphics was the writing system used by the Ancient Egyptians, between 3200 BC – AD 400, that can be found on various media such as pyramid walls and clay tablets, to wooden objects, clay sculptures and papyrus scrolls.

Hieroglyphs can be recognized as three kinds of glyphs: phonetic glyphs, including single-consonant characters that function like an alphabet; logographs, representing morphemes; and determinatives, which narrow down the meaning of logographic or phonetic words.

Despite great efforts by mostly Western historians, “no definitive determination has been made as to the origin of hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt.”

The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous objects that contains script written (partially) in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and it has provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.

(source)

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

africanartagenda:

Ghada Amer

Country: Egypt

Style: Abstract/ Embroiderry

Medium: Acrylic and Embroidery

Fun Fact: in her well-known erotic embroideries, she at once rejects oppressive laws set in place to govern women’s attitudes toward their bodies and repudiates first-wave feminist theory that the body must be denied to prevent victimization. By depicting explicit sexual acts with the delicacy of needle and thread, their significance assumes a tenderness that simple objectification ignores. Amer continuously allows herself to explore the dichotomies of an uneasy world and confronts the language of hostility and finality with unsettled narratives of longing and love

Quote:

"I believe that all women should like their bodies and use them as tools of seduction,"

Paintings:

1. The Sea Witch

2.You My Love

3.Le Champ de Marguerites,

4. Revolution 2.0

5.My Nympheas

6.Unfriending Camelia

 

http://www.ghadaamer.com

Artistic depictions of women in Ancient Egypt

October: Highlighting African Art & African Artists

(images via pharahoe)

(via shontay91-deactivated20140311)