Honouring the martyrs, a photography exhibition of the Egyptian revolution was held at El Sadat metro station at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on 12 May 2011.
With their cameras a group of young artists have captured extraordinary images of protestors on the streets of Cairo during Egypt’s 18-day revolution and have chosen the Sadat metro station, which is the station at Tahrir Square, to feature their work and celebrate a hundred days of the end of the Mubarak regime.
“This is the first time I have been involved in a photography exhibition in a metro station,” Dina Sherif Abdel Salam, a graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo told Ahram Online.
Displayed on two walls of the metro station are images of young Egyptians fighting the state police during the revolution, others carrying slogans and banners at Tahrir Square, and a few feature the celebrations after the ousting of former President Mubarak. Many are of Egyptians of different backgrounds and age groups carrying the national flag on the streets all over Cairo. Some also feature the military that were on the streets at the time.
The most interesting of them all was a view of Tahrir Square during the protests with a chessboard displayed in the corner with the king toppled over, entitled “Check Mate”.
Standing in a small crowd an older couple took the spotlight for a few minutes. This was the mother and father of the martyred artist Ziad Bakir.
“This is a special exhibition that we specifically dedicated to Ziad,” Abdel Salam said. The family was pleased with the honour paid to their son, though Ziad’s mother, holding onto his photograph, didn’t speak much,
“We took the matter into our own hands, went straight to the management of the metro station and arranged to have this special exhibition, honouring the revolution and martyrs,” Abdel Salam told Ahram Online.
A few years ago the Opera metro station near the Opera House also served as space for a variety of exhibitions, but a few days after the opening of one of the exhibits it was removed for unspecified reasons.
“I remember this incident but I doubt it will ever happen again,” Abdel Salam believes. “I think from now on it will be much easier to get approval and have artistic exhibitions to brighten up our stations across Cairo,” she says.
Transforming various metro stations into art galleries is an upcoming trend nowadays in Cairo, especially at El Sadat metro station and a number of exhibitions will follow.