Grant Programme for Internationalization → Open call 2 phase 1
Papyrus and New Media
Ba7r, Khatt Foundation, Megawra
Designer Abla el Bahrawy is investigating a new design for the local craft of Papyrus that is contemporary while remaining authentic. Collaboration partners are the Khatt Foundation and Megawra-Built Environment Collective. Since the 1960s there has been a trend in Egypt that is reviving papyrus. This new form of papyrus is mainly made for commercial purposes and is drifting further and further away from the original, authentic technique. In addition, the content depicted on the material mainly shows a stereotypical picture of Egypt. In the initial phase, el Bahrawy is researching the history and development of papyrus, the drawing, colouring and printing technique and the production, but also the cultural and social significance of this material. She collects her information through interviews with curators, historians and cultural organizations, by studying artefacts and visiting relevant museums, papyrus production sites and print shops. In a follow-up phase, the findings will result in a comic book that she is developing together with various illustrators and advisors, in which the characters tell the story of the production and meaning of papyrus. With this project, el Bahrawy aims to show that papyrus not only belongs to the past, but is also relevant for contemporary design and cultural identity in Egypt.
Image: Eun J Lee