Artists led by renowned Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla and supported by the Delhi Street Art group commemorated on Saturday the victims of Friday's Paris attacks as they gathered at the prestigious Khan market in New Delhi to convert one of its walls into a piece of art.
The technique and theme of the mural Abla intended to paint on a wall was pre-planned, but the mood was changed by the tragic events that took place in Paris where terror attacks killed 128 people.
On the spot, Abla incorporated the "Peace for Paris" sign, which was created by French artist Jean Jullien immediately after the Paris attack and features the Eiffel tower at the centre of the peace sign, into the mural to express the artists' common feeling.
"The sign has meaning on many levels. It is not just about Paris, it is about a global art effort to combat terrorism," Abla told Ahram Online.
The Eiffel/Peace sign in the artwork seamlessly blended into the painter's freehand silhouette style. The rest of the wall art showcased abstract peace motifs similar to the ones Abla brought for his exhibition which took place at the Indian International Centre on 9-15 November: human, animal, floral and geometric. It contained folk style belonging to no nation in particular - and at the same time, to all.
"Art has no borders," added the Cultural Councellor of Egypt in India, Ahmed Abdel Rahman, who also showed up at the worksite. "We Egyptians feel strongly for human beings in trouble, regardless of their religion or nationality. These things should not happen. I believe that only through cultural work can they be overcome."
It is the first time a high-profile Egyptian painter participates in a street art initiative in Delhi.
The event was hosted by the Delhi Street Art (DSA) movement, which has invited artists from various countries in the past three years. Together with local professional and amateur painters they have created numerous street visuals across India – either carrying social messages or merely beautifying the urban surroundings.
Yogesh Saini, the founder of DSA, shares the emotion: "What happened in Paris is an attack on peace, harmony and humanity. We stand in solidarity with the grieving yet resilient denizens of this city of love."
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