BAHIA SHEHAB (EG)
Bahia Shehab's outdoor mural for Nuart Festival 2017 reads "How big is the idea” and is the third stanza of a poem by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:
“How vast is the revolution
How narrow is the journey
How big is the idea
how small is the state" - Darwish
The eagle-eyed viewer will notice a smaller text stencilled to the left of the larger piece. It is here that Shehab has written the fourth stanza: "how small is the state" in a poetic illustration of the power of ideas and activism in overcoming the kind of civil oppression she witnesses on a daily basis in her home town of Cairo in Egypt.
For her indoor installation at Tou Scene, Shehab re-visited her 'A Thousand Times No' project to stencil ten salvaged doors with civil rights statements such as 'No to violence aganst women' and 'No to military rule'.
Bahia Shehab’s political street art was instrumental in the Egyptian uprising that saw widespread protests against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Shehab is an artist, designer and art historian. She is Associate Professor of Design and Founder of the Graphic Design program at The American University in Cairo where she has developed a full design curriculum mainly focused on visual culture of the Arab world. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, UAE and the US.
She has received numerous international recognitions and awards including the TED fellowship in 2012, the TED Senior fellowship in 2016 and the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture in 2017. Her book “A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif” was published in 2010.
The documentary Nefertiti’s Daughters, which focuses on Shehab’s street artwork during the uprising, will receive a Scandinvavian Premiere at this year’s Nuart Festival. A story of women, art and revolution, the film documents the critical role that revolutionary street art played - and is continuing to play - in the political uprising of Egypt.