Upekkha


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The word 'upekkha' arrives from the Buddhist concept of equanimity. A pure mental state cultivated on the path to nirvana, to create a higher awareness of reality. Which makes you wonder: what did Nermine Hammam (1967, Egypt) see when she walked around the Tahrir Square in Cairo, early 2011? By the look of her collages, it seems as if she photographed not so much cold blooded soldiers, but rather boyish youngsters, men in the tender years of transition, assigned to somehow anger manage the revolting crowd. If not actually longing to be on the other side, in the mob of angry uprisers in the heat of the Arab Spring, they seem to be at least expressing a desire to be elsewhere, far removed from the conflict. Hammam thereby relocated these soldiers, and the pretence of their power by virtue of an army uniform, to the kitsch snow covered mountain landscapes and flower scenes that we know from postcards. She is known for the distinct way in which she reworks photography into digitally composed collages. Along with other Egyptian artists, Hammam reflects on the days, weeks and months following the revolution in the first months of 2011, in order to come to terms with the recent changes in her country.

nerminehammam.com


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