resin, epoxy, salvaged plywood, photographic print, wire, tacks
12” x 12” x .5”
I was living a few blocks from Mohammad Mahmoud Street and Tahrir Square in the aftermath of the January 25th Revolution; lectures at the old AUC campus or meet-ups with friends at Hurriya regularly took me past the living memorial to an ongoing uprising – one that took so long to drain of hope. In September 2012, the Egyptian regime erased the Martyrs’ Mural. I can still taste the bitterness, adrenaline, and emotion of that long-ago night at Le Bistro – everyone’s cell phones blowing up with the news, mobilizing plans to take back the walls.
Sometimes I wonder when the euphoria will return – or if we all know better now. I photographed every inch of the mural in the months before its destruction, watching it evolve, breathe, age, change, adapt… and remain. The martyr’s mother depicted here was one of many grieving women on that long, winding street before the regime whitewashed the people’s history…yet again, and then after – again.
I salvaged plywood, stained it, coated the photograph with resin and set thumbtacks in the corners of the image, connecting them with a long, continuous thread of wire, that looped around the edge as if a frame. After the resin set, I went in with razor blades to scrape away most of the stain that remained, but left traces to remind myself that nothing can permanently remove the memories of once was – not even the force of men in tanks against the unarmed, long-haired demonstrators armed with spray cans and refusal to acquiesce.