Posted on April 12, 2013

‘CITY’, a joint exhibition of artworks by Qatari artist Faraj Daham and Egyptian artist Mohamed Abouelnaga, which speaks volumes about the lives of the working class people, opened at Katara recently.

While both artists seek to give voice to people from among the lower classes of society through their works, they do so in their unique styles. Qatari artist Daham’s works, for example, depict postcards and melancholic faces of expatriate workers, thereby reflecting on their common plight of living away from the family and homeland.

Talking to Qatar Tribune Daham said, “I have talked to these people, and have made friends from among them. I have asked them about their problems, what their greatest concern is, and they have told me that the biggest issue for them is homesickness, a longing to be reunited with their loved ones.” Another artist Mohamed Abouelnaga said “this is an exhibition about the city, my city. I am from Tanta, a city in the middle of the Nile Delta in Egypt, between Cairo and Alexandria. My work focuses on the people in my city, the very simple, poor people. The majority of Egyptians are in this category. I use images of these people, the working classes on the streets, which you can find throughout Egypt.” According to Abouelnaga, his works focussed exclusively on men and women from these groups, showing them working, or at rest, and highlighted in black or gold acrylic.

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He explained “Nothing has changed for these people. It is almost a century when Egypt gained independence from the British, after the overthrow of the autocratic King of Egypt by Gamal Abdul Nasser. In these years Egypt has witnessed three revolutions, and many political changes, and a variety of presidents, but the condition of the workers continues to be as miserable as it was long ago.” Explaining his use of images of Egypt’s working class people, Abouelnaga said “There are a lot of references in art to important people, rich people, with the implication that these are the most important people. 

For me, the most important people are these people who work and build. Certainly the upper classes are important in their own way, but this doesn’t mean we should forget or neglect these people.” The exhibition which is being held at Katara’s building 19, galleries 1 and 2 will end on May 11.

source: Qatar Tribune