Inji Aflatoun, Egyptian painter and feminist, gets Google Doodle for her 95th birthday

1 / 8
Inji Aflatoun, one of Egypt’s best-known painters and a leading feminist, was honored with a Google Doodle to celebrate what would have been her 95th birthday. (Google)
2 / 8
Prisoners, 1957, oil on canvas by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Barjeel Art Foundation)
3 / 8
Donshway, 1958, oil on wood by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Safarkhan Art Gallery)
4 / 8
Loom, 1955, oil on canvas by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Safarkhan Art Gallery)
5 / 8
Martyrs Procession, oil on canvas by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Safarkhan Art Gallery)
6 / 8
Mathbahat Dinshaway (the Dinshaway Massacre), c. 1950, ink on paper by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Barjeel Art Foundation)
7 / 8
Soldier (Fedayeen), 1970, oil on canvas on wood by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Safarkhan Art Gallery)
8 / 8
Tarqab (expectation), c. 1940, ink on paper by Inji Aflatoun. (Courtesy Barjeel Art Foundation)
Updated 16 April 2019
0

Inji Aflatoun, Egyptian painter and feminist, gets Google Doodle for her 95th birthday

  • The doodle features Aflatoun in front of her canvas of surrealist and cubist paintings

DUBAI: Inji Aflatoun, one of Egypt’s best-known painters and a leading feminist, was honored today with a Google Doodle to celebrate what would have been her 95th birthday.

The doodle features Aflatoun in front of her canvas of surrealist and cubist paintings, which led critics to call her a “pioneer of modern Egyptian art,” according to Google’s description of the creative talent.

Aflatoun was born in Cairo in 1924 to a Muslim family that she described was “semi-feudal and bourgeois” — her father, Hazzan, was an entomologist who founded the entomology department of Cairo University aside from being the dean of the science faulty; her mother Salha, meanwhile, was a French-trained dress-designer who served in the women’s committee of the Egyptian Red Crescent Society.

Under the mentorship of her private art tutor, Kamel Al-Timisani, Aflatoun was introduced to surrealist and cubist aesthetics.

Aflatoun was also drawn into the feminist movement, joining Iskra – a Communist youth party – in 1942, and becoming a founding member of the League of University and Institutes’ Young Women in 1945 and representing the league during the same year at the first conference of Women’s International Democratic Federation in Paris.

She also wrote two political pamphlets — “Eighty Million Women with Us” in 1948 and “We Egyptian Women” in 1949 — which heavily attacked class and gender oppression, mainly because of British rule.

She was arrested and imprisoned by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government during a round-up of communists in the mid-50s, and since her release in 1963 devoted her time to painting.

Aflatoun died on April 17, 1989, just a day after celebrating her 65th birthday.


‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

Updated 19 April 2019
0

‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

  • National Museum in Riyadh hosts digital show that tells the story of Mosul, Palmyra, Aleppo and Leptis Magna

JEDDAH: An exhibition that uses digital technology to revive the region’s ancient sites and civilizations that have been destroyed or are under threat due to conflict and terrorism opened at the National Museum in Riyadh on April 18.

“Age-Old Cities” tells the story of four historically significant cities that have been devastated by violence: Mosul in Iraq, Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria, and Leptis Magna in Libya. 

Using stunning giant-screen projections, virtual reality, archival documents and images, and video testimonials from inhabitants of the affected sites, the immersive exhibition transports visitors back in time and presents the cities as they were in their prime. 

It charts their journey from the origins of their ancient civilizations to their modern-day state, and presents plans for their restoration and repair. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Riyadh is the first stop outside the French capital on the exhibition’s global tour. 

The exhibition follows last month’s unveiling of the Kingdom’s new cultural vision, which included the announcement of several initiatives, including a new residency scheme for international artists to practice in the Kingdom and the establishment of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, said: “I am delighted to welcome the ‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition to Riyadh. 

“It highlights the importance of heritage preservation, particularly here in the Middle East, and the vulnerability of some of our historic sites. 

“It must be the responsibility of governments to put an end to this damage and neglect, and to put heritage at the heart of action, investment, and policy.

“I will be encouraging my fellow members of government to attend this eye-opening exhibition in our National Museum, and hope to work in the future with partners, governments and experts to do what we can to secure our region’s heritage.”

The exhibition carries a significant message about the importance of preserving and protecting these precious but fragile sites — one which resonates strongly in the week when one of the world’s most-famous heritage sites, Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, went up in flames.