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Pioneer Artist Samia Halaby: “Abstrac...
By AmmarParis
04 Feb 2015

Beirut, Lebanon

February 4, 2015

At the age of 79, Samia Halaby is one of the leading artists in the Arab world.
Halaby’s first retrospective exhibition, Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, currently held in Beirut, celebrates more than 70 of her artworks she has produced. Halaby wishes to hold similar retrospective exhibitions in different parts of the world. Her work is widely sought around by art collectors. One her paintings were sold at Christie’s auction house for $179,000.
As an international and Arab pioneer of abstraction, Halaby aims to place abstract painting within the reach of a very wide audience.
“People say that they do not understand abstract art,” she says. “Therefore, I give paintings titles to open the door for spectators to enter and see whatever they want.” Halaby has remained faithful to abstract painting throughout her long career because she believes it is “an image of nature.” “While [Photography] builds a perspective using a lens, [abstract art] imitates nature without a lens,” Halaby adds. The Jerusalem-born artist’s work reflects her political and historical background. Her vast array of paintings includes a collection on olive trees, an icon of Palestinian culture and symbol of resistance. She has also written a book on the artistic representation of the Palestinian intifada and believes that it constitutes a distinct artistic school.

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A Warrior In High Heels
Cairo, Egypt
By Sergi Cabeza
18 Feb 2014

“A warrior in High Heels”

by Sergi Cabeza

It's the night before his solo performance, "Inside Out", a stage performance performed in three parts and Hazem has been in the theater all day long. He'll finish two evenings on the stage to finish his trilogy, The Nut, named after the Egyptian goddess of the sky who gave birth to the sun every morning. In his three-part dance show, he shows how Egyptian women gradually lost their importance in society through male domination. His last act addresses modern Egypt.

Hazem’s show crosses a red line that could land him in prison. In the final performance he straps on high heals, a bikini top, and struts down the stage in a catwalk. Several weeks after his show, three men were sentenced to three years in prison for debauchery, the Egyptian law used to condemn homosexuality. A fourth man was given eight years in prison on charges of running a brothel. Two of the men were accused of wearing women's clothes.

And here is Hazem on stage, dancing in his underwear, wearing a bra and a religious cap, taking off his clothes, as he slowly breaks free from a rope hanging from the ceiling that represents societal taboos.

His performance critiques how religion and men dominate his society's sexual norms. The first part was performed by eight women and the second with a mixed roster of boys and girls, but the final, solo act was to turn himself into a sexual transgressor before the eyes of the audience.

He was worried about getting arrested; however, nobody harassed him. Audiences cheered loudly at both of his sold out shows. He charged less than three dollars for tickets, despite the fact that this ticket price did not cover the rent of the theater, costumes and stage crew. A few days after his final show, he received an invitation from Tunisia, where he is due to perform in the beginning of May.

This was not the first time he faced his fears, faced his society and came out even more determined to succeed. In July 2011, Hazem walked into the center of Tahrir Square during an demonstration calling for an Islamic State. He went topless in front of the hardcore, ultra conservative crowds surrounding him and shouted against them.

“He acts in the stage as he is in the streets,” says his proud friend Diego. “He is a warrior in high heels.”

This video includes an interview with Hazem and images of his show.

Note for Sales: Hazem didn't want to give his last name.


The show took place in the Rawabet theatre of Cairo, Egypt, the 18th of February of 2014

-0' 00'' Hazem during one of his rehearsals in the Italian Institute of Culture in Cairo some one week before the premiere of the show.

-0' 14'' Hazem interview.

-0' 20'' Hazem smokes a shish in the morning a day before the show.

-0' 25'' Walking in Cairo towards the theatre the day before the show.

-0' 33'' At the door of the theatre the day before the show.

-0' 38'' Hazem got some flowers sent to him the day before the show.

-0' 42'' Hazem interview

-0' 48'' Hazem during the show

-0' 55'' Hazem interview

-1' 02'' Hazem rehearsing in the theatre the day before the show

-1' 11'' Hazem interview

-1' 17'' Connecting the computer in the control room of the theatre the day before the show

-1' 22'' View of the theatre the day before the show.

-1' 26'' Another view of the theatre, from the stage.

-1' 30'' Hazem interview

-1' 35'' A view of the stage some hours before the show. Workers spread smashed coal as Hazem looks.

-1' 38'' The entrance to the theatre shortly before the show starts.

-1' 42'' People gathering outside the theatre minutes before the show.

-1' 47'' Hazem interview.

-1' 56'' Hazem strips during the show to remain only in his underwear.

-2' 15'' Hazem interview

-2' 21'' Dancing over religious music during the show

-2' 31'' Hazem interview

-2' 37'' The show is finished. People cheers as Hazem thanks the audience.

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Occupy Maidan 47
Kiev, Ukraine
By Daniel Van Moll
03 Feb 2014

Catholic and Orthodox priests hold a public service at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the Independence Square occupied by political activists in Kiev, Ukraine on the evening of February 3rd, 2014.

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Istanbul Fashion Week 2013 (2 of 53)
Istanbul, Turkey
By Monique Jaques
13 Mar 2013

Attendees before the the Tuvanam show at Istanbul Fashion Week in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Laolu Sebanjo Afromysterics Art
Abuja, Nigeria
By Taiwo Adeleke
01 Dec 2012

Name: Afromystrerics Art.

Journalist: Taiwo Adeleke

A Nigerian born Artist and musician use his works of art to interpret the mystery of the African thought pattern and the weak economics situation in Nigeria from the fuel scarcity, crisis and killings , political power tussle and the challenges of Africa Artist at large. Images and soundbite of people at the art exhibition.

Artist use his work of art to interpret the Economic situation in Nigeria and Africa at Large.


Timi Inekoba (Woman) Participant at the Exhibition
Stanley Ibansu (man) Business man Participant at the Art Exhibition
Laolu Senbanjo (man) Artist / Musician



VAR of a Artist drawing
VAR of Artist art exhibition in Abuja
VAR of people registering at the Art exhibition
VAR of Artist show casing his Art work to Audience
VAR of Artist playing is Guitar and singing to the audience
VAR of Artist Playing his music alone in the garden.
VAR of Artist at his music Concert in Abuja at the city park Abuja Nigeria

SOUNBITE:1 Timi Inekoba (Woman). Participant at the Art Exhibition ( English, 00:00:07:24 ). "My second favorite pieces is about the visual cycle, all the random things that as been going on in Nigeria, the subsidy things, the oil thing, the corruption thing is like he just recycle everything. Am pretty sure you know its art and music it comes together, so he translate everything from art to music , music to art. I think this will stand any were and its good. i like his art because its abstract, its beautiful, its something else,but i think it we go very far".

SOUNDBITE 2 : Stanley Ibansu (man) Business man Participant at the Art Exhibition. (00:00:51:17) "A picture speaks volume. i mean in thousand words , now pictures is in millions of words his art speaks millions of words , its mind blowing , i love what he does, most of what he as done envoy round the women fold , and all this while, why the event was going on i was thinking about why the women but you know discover that its actually the women its a woman world,everything involve around the woman , he has been able to, i had something very peculiar today somebody said that if you are able to change the woman, 80% of the challenges we have in the society is handle and that is the truth. What he is doing is affecting the women fold and i must tell you this is cutting across the change we expect and to tell you the truth he is making the impact that is needed with that ".

SOUNDBITE 3: Laolu Senbanjo (man) Artist / Musician. ( 00:00:47:08)
"My name is Laolu Senbanjo and am an artist and also a musician, my style of art is called Afromysterics art which simply means the mystery of Africa thought pattern, and what i do is hat i like to use my art to interpret different scenario and situations. I draw inspiration from methodology, symbols, Africa life, the Africa third pattern, everyday life and you know what we do is a narrative of a busy mind. An African mind is very busy is thinking of many things at the same time, so with this i try to tell you a lot of stories with just one picture, i take you through a story in a particular painting.

After having exhibitions outside the shore of Nigeria, i have been to few exhibitions am in a position to compare and contrast what the acceptance is like, you know you cant compare the monetary value in terms of appreciation in terms of the value of the artist itself. We in Africa, we need to do more , we need to value our artist and treat therm better because its sad to know that a lot of artist don't even have art galleries.

the major challenges is that of perceptive and understanding of what art is and a lot of people, like i tell people you don't pay an artist for his labour, he is not a laborer, you pay an artist for his site and ability to see what you cant see and put it in imagination on canvas ability to connect what is in your mind to your art. That is what people should value and that is priceless in the sense that when you see a work of art you see people price it like its a commodity like tomatoes and its very heart breaking sometimes the way we treat our own artist and this is something that is absence somewhere like i had exhibition in Germany , the artist are treated with respect and dignity and you know what ever costs a work is the value behind the work , basically you cant price art.

Afromysterics is going on loud , we are launching out and what we want is to take the message of our people , we want to take it to the world in charcoal something that the world have not seen, we want to take it out in a very unique manner, there is notting fetish or demonic about africa art, we should stop demonizing our history , our root because that is what saddens me the most , because most people see carving, mask , they start saying its as this and that , many people have been brain watched, and its painful , very very painful, i menthes are beautiful things that is been appreciated globally , this is what makes us unique, i mean while should be more European than an European, i mean he doesn't want to see the like of Michelangelo , Da vinci, of this world, i mean while not do what is natural to you , we have our styles of art , we have what cones to us naturally and the reasons while am doing this is that , this is what comes to me , this is what i feel, this is what i imagine and this is what am dreaming , i mean my art , i that is what am actually doing here i just sit down and let it flow that as been my life i let it flow."

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Kampala, Uganda
By Amy Hume
20 Nov 2011

Break dancing exhibit.

Hip Hop is a global phenomena that reaches nearly all corners of the Earth. Starting in the projects of NYC nearly 40 years ago, struggling youth from Mongolia to Rwanda use music as a weapon to express their situations, hopes, and dreams. Though Hip Hop culture is new to Uganda, it is becoming popular with people of all ages, but with the youth in particular. Hip Hop music is reaching the smallest of villages, as I witnessed in the war-torn area of Gulu. Access to music is free, which is an essential aspect of why Hip Hop is spreading like wildfire.
In 2009, End of the Weak (EOW), a collaboration of MCs, graffiti artists, break dancers and DJs that spans 17 countries, reached Uganda. All chapters of EOW are involved with community outreach, workshops for youth and exude positive influence in their communities through Hip Hop culture. The MC Challenge is a competition in each country wherein the winners gather at the World Finals, which are held in a different country each year. The MC Challenge is held in the central, eastern, western and northern regions of Uganda so that many different languages are represented in the competition. Winners of the MC Challenge are provided studio time, video production and photo shoots as a way to share and promote their music.

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Warsaw, Poland
By Agnieszka Adamek
09 Feb 2011

Konrad Modzelewski performs mainly in front of child audience. It is his only source of income.

Cost: Konrad Modzelewski
Written and directed by Agnieszka Adamek
Photos: Matthew Wołoczko, George Bończyk
Editing: Mark Marlikowski