DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

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Posts tagged "egypt"

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)

habibasproject:

258/365
Cairo.

(via fuckyeahmiddleeast)

I face the mirror to scrub off
the scent that two lips left on my neck.
And though there is no need to document the sadness,
I still indulge in counting tears
by examining the paper tissues I threw in the wastebasket.
I think my eyes are prettier than the image I have of them
and decide that understanding is more beautiful than forgiveness.
I was with you
on a journey to a holy place.
I am wearing a dress of a sixteenth-century French princess
when you take me away from the convent.
You push me to climb a staircase hanging in air.
And since this is impossible with all those spangles,
I begin taking off petticoats
and climb,
corsets,
belts shaped like bows
that turn into dead butterflies when I release them,
and climb.

On the highest step
I am naked under a light mist.
I lose you
and wake in another bed.

To believe that there is always something greater
than propriety,
I examine my skin
on which no imprint of the past remains—
I see I am getting thinner
as if preparing myself
to fly.

An excerpt from Egyptian poet Iman Mersal's poem Oranges.
It seems I inherit the dead.
One day
after the death of all those I love,
I will sit alone in a café
without any sense of loss,
because my body is a huge basket
where all those who leave
drop things
that bear their traces
The last stanza of Egyptian writer Iman Mersal's poem It Seems I Inherit the Dead.

Born in Mit ‘Adlan, Egypt, in 1966, writer, poet and professor Iman Mersal is one of Egypt’s most noted feminist writers. Mersal received both her MA and PhD from Cairo University, writing the dissertation for the latter on ‘Orienting Occidentalism: Images of America in Arab Travel Literature’. Previously, she had graduated from Mansoura University with a bachelor’s degree in Arabic.

She is a co-founder independent feminist magazine Bint al-Ard (Daughter of the Earth) of which she served as co-editor from 1985 to 1988.

In the late 90s, she emigrated to Boston, USA, and finally settled in Alberta, Canada where she serves as Associate Professor of Arabic literature and Middle Eastern and African Studies at the University of Alberta.

Mersal has published several poetry books and has had her poems translated into numerous languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Macedonian, Hindi, and Italian.

Her second book, Mamarr Mu*Šñtim Yasluh li Ta*Šñallum al-Raqs (A Dark Passageway is Suitable for Learning to Dance), was selected as the best book of poetry in 1995 by polls conducted by a number of Egyptian magazines and newspapers.

I face the mirror to scrub off
the scent that two lips left on my neck.
And though there is no need to document the sadness,
I still indulge in counting tears
by examining the paper tissues I threw in the wastebasket.
I think my eyes are prettier than the image I have of them
and decide that understanding is more beautiful than forgiveness.
I was with you
on a journey to a holy place.
I am wearing a dress of a sixteenth-century French princess
when you take me away from the convent.
You push me to climb a staircase hanging in air.
And since this is impossible with all those spangles,
I begin taking off petticoats
and climb,
corsets,
belts shaped like bows
that turn into dead butterflies when I release them,
and climb.

On the highest step
I am naked under a light mist.
I lose you
and wake in another bed.

To believe that there is always something greater
than propriety,
I examine my skin
on which no imprint of the past remains—
I see I am getting thinner
as if  preparing myself
to fly.

- Taken from her poem Oranges.