Arts & Culture

Young Egyptian Artists Draw the Joy and Defiance of the Gender Equality Struggle

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Young Egyptian Artists Draw the Joy and Defiance of the Gender Equality Struggle

Illustration by Twins Cartoon for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

Bursting with talent, young Egyptian artists constantly find new ways to use their skills and imagination to express experiences and support social causes important to their communities. Among those causes is the attainment of gender equality, and in the initiative ‘Drawing Gender Equality’ organized by the Spanish Cooperation in Egypt, the artists show the different ways in which the topic can be explored.

Since 2017, the Spanish Cooperation has been immersed in Egypt’s comic scene, taking part in Egypt’s leading comic festival, CairoComix and holding workshops for young artists from across the country.

This year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Spanish Cooperation set up a workshop titled ‘Drawing Gender Equality’ led by Egyptian brothers Twins Cartoon, which welcomed young non-professional Egyptian illustrators, encouraging them to create posters, postcards, bookmarks, and more, exploring the topic of gender equality in their own unique ways.

“At the Spanish Cooperation in Egypt, we believe in the potential of comics as a means of raising awareness and education, and as a tool to address issues such as equal rights for women from another perspective,” says Ventura Rodriguez, Head of the Spanish Cooperation Office in Cairo.

Rodriguez also explains that in previous years, Spanish artists such as Alfonso Zapico, Alvaro Ortiz, and Nuria Tamarit have headed similar workshops in Egypt.

“The artists were selected in open calls through Facebook. It has been difficult for us to select because there has been so much demand to participate,” he tells Egyptian Streets.

The posters were displayed at an event at the residence of the Spanish Ambassador in Egypt, Ramon Gil-Casares. The very same event also screened short films created through the Caravan of Women Filmmakers led by director Amal Ramsis and supported by the Spanish Cooperation.

Initiatives such as ‘Drawing Gender Equality’ and the Caravan of Women Filmmakers represent ways in which the Spanish cooperation shows its dedication to supporting Egypt’s journey towards attaining the fifth of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“We strongly believe that culture must be a tool for social transformation. It has the potential and the power for building better societies and for promoting gender equality,” Rodriguez concludes.

From glimpses of joy to depictions of defiance, here are some of the posters Egyptian artists created throughout this workshop, exploring the different faces of the struggle towards gender equality.

Illustration by Michael Essam for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Sohaila Khaled for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Noha El-Gendi for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Noha El-Gendi for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Noha El-Gendi for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Farid Nagy for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Esraa Abdullah for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality.’

 

Illustration by Noran Fekri for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

 

Illustration by Mohamed Ali for the Spanish Cooperation initiative, ‘Drawing Gender Equality’.

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Senior Editor at Egyptian Streets and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo. Holds a master's degree in Global Journalism from the University of Sheffield, where she wrote a dissertation about the effect of disinformation on the profession of journalism. Passionate about music, story-telling, baking, social justice, and taking care of her plants. "If you smell something, say something." -Jon Stewart, 2015

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