Arts & Culture

A Sea of Colour: Painting Cairo’s Satellite Dishes

A Sea of Colour: Painting Cairo’s Satellite Dishes
Stoneking starts his project by painting dishes on the art space’s roof (Photo by Giacomo Crescenzi)
Stoneking starts his project by painting dishes on the art space’s roof (Photo by Giacomo Crescenzi)

By Marwa Morgan, Daily News Egypt

In a balcony that views “the endless sea of dirty brown satellite dishes,” the American writer Jason Stoneking’s conversation with Egyptian artist Hany Hommos inspired him to start a new project.

Stoneking has launched the “Cairo Dish-Painting Initiative” to beautify the city’s skyline and use it as a medium to empower people.

The writer, who originally came to Cairo for a residency programme at Artellewa Art space, started his project by painting dishes on the art space’s roof. Mixing paint colours at the local store in Ard El-Lewa neighbourhood, Stoneking transforms the “depressing” rusty dishes into bright day-glowing ones.

“We wanted to launch an interactive project,” he said, “for everyone, even if they don’t speak English.”

The initiative has gone beyond Ard El-Lewa to reach other neighbourhoods. Fady Azzouny, who lives in New Cairo, has painted three satellite dishes and sent his photos to Stoneking. The artist hopes to spread the word to other parts of Cairo, he said.

Stoneking launches the “Cairo Dish-Painting Initiative” to beautify the city’s skyline and use it as a medium to empower people (Photo by Giacomo Grescenzi)
Stoneking launches the “Cairo Dish-Painting Initiative” to beautify the city’s skyline and use it as a medium to empower people
(Photo by Giacomo Grescenzi)

“We want to get people to express themselves through the space,” he said. “Their voice will be heard all over the city.”

The process of painting is easy and cheap, he said. One can of paint, which can paint over 20 dishes, cost around EGP 30.  People of the same building can share one can. However, colouring satellite dishes on a building roof requires asking each resident for permission.

“It’s a long process,” he said, “but we have got positive responses from everyone we spoke to so far.”

Visiting Egypt for the first time, Stoneking was nervous about how he will be received the neighbourhood, he said.

“The US doesn’t have good reputation,” he said, “people have been very warm and generous though.”

Stoneking plans on staying in Egypt for three months, during which he and his wife Leslie McAllister, who is also a resident artist at Artellwa, will continue working on the project. The couple will also give workshops and a talk about their work, which will be presented in a final exhibition in November.

Egyptians launch initiative to comfort injured Palestinians
Egypt's new beauty queen crowned

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture
@DailyNewsEgypt

Daily News Egypt is a completely independent news provider for Egypt and the wider MENA region.

More in Arts & Culture

13 Contemporary Egyptian Designers Exhibit Works at WantedDesign Manhattan

Egyptian StreetsMay 22, 2019

First Time For Arabic Novel In Translation To Win Man Booker International Prize

Egyptian StreetsMay 22, 2019

The Rescue of Abu Simbel: A Perfect Example of International Cooperation

Hanna JohnsonMay 21, 2019

Practicing Sufi Chanting as a Form of Meditation During Ramadan

Egyptian StreetsMay 16, 2019

Handicrafts Promote the Culture of Entrepreneurship in Egypt

Enas El NemrMay 10, 2019

Post-Iftar Sounds: Ramadan Concerts to Catch in Cairo

Egyptian StreetsMay 8, 2019

19 Middle Eastern Desserts to Remember this Ramadan

Farida M EzzatMay 5, 2019

Biggest Saff Tomb Discovered in Luxor

Egyptian StreetsApril 19, 2019
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.