Egyptian visual artist Nour ElDean's newest photo project is showcasing Mother Nature's most beautiful people as flowers.
No two humans are alike. The fact that human beings are from different races, follow different religions, come from different countries, and have different beliefs is the root of all of history’s challenges. There are so many shades of racism and bigotry happening around us on a daily basis, and although we know it exists, we ignore it. Since birth, we’re all taught to try to be different and stand out from the crowd but when we do we’re pointed and laughed at. Activists throughout time have been trying to show us that our differences should be what brings us together rather than what tear us apart.
Up and coming visual Artist Nour ElDean wanted to do exactly that; to celebrate our differences and individuality, the only way he knew how, through art. “I’ve always been passionate about being part of a cause. I guess you can say there’s a mini-activist in me.” The artist shares. His vision was to bring together a group of individuals, whose appearance stands out every day in his newest photography project, ‘A Human Nature.’ The exhibition featured nine unique models, took four months to execute, and the results are incredible.
While creating the pieces, Nour asked each model about their individuality and how people viewed it. Each model was incredibly beautiful in the most unique way, and included a person with albinism, and a person with vitiligo, a rare skin disorder that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches. And each model had an incredible story to tell. Some shared stories of discrimination and bullying, while others said their individuality makes them stronger. To the artist, the most touching of stories was Malak’s; a beautiful girl with a lot of freckles on her face. Nour tells me Malak was bullied as a child because of her freckles even though they are part of what actually makes her so incredibly beautiful.
All the models featured in the exhibition had a distinct physical feature that makes them stand out and a few butterflies scattered all over them to tie them closer together. The artist wanted to incorporate Mother Nature into the project because, as he put it, “Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate” and butterflies are the perfect example. “Butterflies are attracted to flowers, and when a butterfly is attracted to a flower it isn’t going to look at it and decide if it’s beautiful or not, because to it all flowers are exactly the same” Nour shares.
Nour ElDean was overwhelmed with all the positivity he received from the project. More than 700 people went to the exhibition in Beit ElSura last month and all of them were as blown away from the project as I am. Nour’s main goal was to help people find acceptance and come together. The exhibition defiantly had a huge positive effect on people, especially Mirna Bakir, a fan of Nour ElDean’s and a person with vitiligo who wrote to him on Facebook and told him about how his project has helped her overcome her insecurities and find acceptance within herself.