A TALE TO TELL by EZ@ 11 Nov - 25 Nov

A Tale to Tell
by Fatenn Mostafa-Kanafani

EZ@ (Ahmed Ezzat) has many stories to tell. Stories of Egypt – past and present; nostalgia and hope; love and compassion. Stories of Egypt – from the nitty-gritty, the crowded ride of a train to the famous heroes Egyptians grew up with.

A former banker who constantly calls for social justice, freedom, and bread for all, Ez@ is a self-taught artist whose innovative mixed media technique of graphic art, collage, and acrylic painting, on re-cycled consumer-product cardboards or second-hand wood panels opens the floor to many interpretations.

Recognizable and relatable, his ”Abtal’ (icons/heroes) range from the ornate fellaha depicted on an infamous stamp commemorating the Egyptian cotton crop and the energetic fellah commemorating Egyptian agriculture, with the cotton and agriculture being the proud products and salvation of Egypt at the turn of the twentieth century, to El Sit (aka Umm Kulthum) and Mo Salah (aka Mohammed Salah, the world-renowned Egyptian-born Liverpool football player), both acting as icons of past and present Egypt.

EZ@ selects those men and women whose influence and legacy transformed Egypt: Sayyid Darwish, the father of popular colloquial songs; Saad Bacha, “the father of the Nation” Saad Zaghloul; and Doria, the feminist leader together with Frida (Kahlo). He also portrays those iconic characters in the movies of La Belle Époque such as Anessa Hanafi (aka Ismail Yassin); Ostaz Hammam, and Anis Affandi; without ever forgetting the usual suspects: Hind (Rostom), Laila (Mourad), Soad (Hosni), Tahia (Cariocca), Faten (Hammama), and Omar (Sherif) to name a few.

A Tale to Tell reflects on Ez@ memory and his vision of Egyptian popular culture, with many commentaries on how some world events affected his homeland. It is a tribute to Egypt’s best days and the hope for a better future.

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