2016 a year of un-schooling

I started this year with leaving my full time job as a senior graphic designer at a digital advertising agency, without knowing how the journey of the year will look like, all what was in my head is

"I will take a break and start having an experience of life"

I was thirsty for experimenting and doing things that I didn't before, for learning, for freeing myself from a lot of restrictions and voices, to discover and know myself more, to find a land to stand on, to release my own voice and feelings and express myself bravely.

I'm a passionate seeker and learner, Love people and connecting them, 2016 was a journey of discovery through different experiences, learning processes, activities and workshops, knowing new people and sharing with them stories, all this experiences were a steps for something that I realized after, for un-schooling my self and setting my potentials again more powerfully and strongly. and before all of these re-connecting with myself and start knowing and being curious and enthusiastic about life again.

Collage is the most form of art that I love, although I took the same workshop before, It was different with another level of experimenting and learning. I do Love collage, this mixing of things in a new creative approach, I started this Collage and painting workshop with artist Hany Rashed at Medrar for contemporary arts, and participated in the exhibition after the workshop "Naema's office is bleeding 2". 


There was an open call from Adef for digital expression for people who want to teach visual arts for kids in summer schools.

Kids? I couldn’t imagine myself that I can make this one day in my life, but I applied for the TOT program with the artist Bassem Yousry.

In summer, I started teaching Visual arts at summer school for kids (12-15 years old) in one of marginalized communities at Egypt (Ezbet el Nasr), this summer school was aiming on nurturing the artistic senses for kids, developing their abilities, experiences and expression through visual arts.

Through this experience I was facing a difficulties in dealing with kids from an ignorant and violent background, trying to create a safe haven for them to enjoy and learn. This experience of teaching and although its difficulties was inspiring, and get me a lot of questions and reflections.

I became impressed of the relationship between me and the students, the influence and progress that I had in the class as a teacher/mentor/facilitator, the ultimate pure love and talents that the students have and their real need to learn and express themselves and find someone who care and set their potentials. That make me participate in reading group about art education and take a course about teaching strategies that made me know more about learning process and reflect that on myself as a learner, and lover for teaching and mentoring.

Cairo Bats Act1 The Roof Exhibition, the first exhibition in a new series dedicated to the presentation of Cairo based art projects with a special focus on collaboration: I’m a part of “Cairo Bats” who are a collective of female artists consist of  Mai Al Shazly, Yvonne Buchheim, Magdalena Kallenberger, Hagar Masoud, and Nadia Mounier. That meet to stage photographs through playful interactions in semi-public spaces.

“Poster Design” Workshop by "100 Best Arabic Posters Initiative" and conducted by one of the major influential European poster designers, Prof. Bernard Stein., this workshop was about theoretical and practical strategy covering different cultural, social, technical and conceptual aspects of poster design. The Results of the workshop was displayed in a two day exhibition in the heart of Downtown, Cairo. 

Al Waqt Al Masy Exhibition as Product of another workshop about drawing and painting with the Egyptian artist Ahmed Sabry.

At Meeting point 8 by Mofradat, By Written I Mean Made (Cairo) is a reading in Arabic and English that uses fragments of dialogue encountered between. Marcel Moore and Claude Cahun who were lovers and were occasionally involved with the Surrealist movement. A reading by Marnie Slater, with the Cairo Bats and Clare Noonan. Featuring a cactus courtesy Windsor Hotel, a sandwich by Pam Labib and clothing arranged by Cairo Bats.

“Open Text to Photography” workshop with Heba Khalifa and Ghada Kalifa, was about creating a work of art depends on writing and photography together, and the development of different methods of blending between the visual and written.

At Darb 1718 I participated in the collective Exhibition Bread 2 Exhibition, my project was about what does bread mean to me and bread as a powerful symbol that carries deeper meanings.

Going natural in education and in life.

 Lora Smothers is talking about an experience that I had at my life, perming my hair, and being at school for getting grades. I was perming my hair while I was 9 years old, until 3 years ago.I decided to stop perming it.

After that the hair start to grow half curly and half permed, and I was struggling with this feeling that bothered me a lot.

Lora talks about her decision of not perming her hair also and going natural, she talks about moment I know strongly, this moment of combing hair which is half curly and half permed, she tells that this moment reminded her of school. The school that forced you for not being yourself, and this connection between the half permed hair and the memory of school was tangible and so smart and reminded me also of dozens of feelings, my feeling of perming my hair, being at school, years of frustration, anger and being uncomfortable , fear and isolation from myself and from being alive.

2016 was full of peace & transformation. I’m hopeful in 2017 I will get more and more interesting experiences, fun, love and achievements.