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Dalloul Art Foundation

In Conversation With : Fatenn Mostafa Kanafani Part 2

Author Daf Beirut
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Dalloul Art Foundation

A series of in depth interviews with Arthur Debsi, writer and researcher at Dalloul Art Foundation where he discusses various subjects with professionals in the Arab world.

Fatenn Mostafa Kanafani – Lecturer, and Art Historian on Modern Egyptian Art

Part 2. Within the first decades of the 20th century, a generation of artists, newly graduated, paved the way of modern art movement in Egypt. In the second part of the book, Modern Art in Egypt: Identity and Independence, 1850-1936, Fatenn Mostafa Kanafani wrote mini-monographs of six artists like Mohamed Naghi, Georges Hanna Sabbagh, Mahmoud Mokhtar, and Marguerite Nakhla, to name a few. In the conversation, the author presents selected painters, and analyses the artistic legacy, that they all left in Egyptian Art History. In their programs, it was mainly about finding the essence of the Egyptian identity, which includes both Ancient Egyptian History, and popular culture as references. Kanafani particularly insists on this legacy to show how artists from different backgrounds – either from modest families, or wealthy families –, connected with the people to create a cultural unity, and a common visual language, through their artworks. While Egypt was still under the British political influence, this whole process also participated in building the concept of a nation, that Rifa’a al-Tahtawi (1801-1973) had written about: al-watan.

Video recorded on Zoom by Arthur Debsi

Edited by Christine Labban

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