We speak to the founders of End Quote, a new Egyptian digital art collective that pairs works from local artists and photographers with poetic written versus...
A creative Facebook page that's only been around for a couple of weeks has gained a significant number of followers over quite a short period of time. End Quote are a collaborative by co-founders Mohamed Kassem and Sabah Khodir who create, together with a selection of photographers and writers, a fusion between poetic written verses and their compatible photographs or art works. With a flair for romanticism and rebellion, artworks at End Quote have gained much attention and admiration from the public. We speak to the duo behind the captivating collection of works and find out more about their drive and aspirations.
I walk down this cultured street and watch as men peer onto my body like they have watched my soul leave it and I have remained only a figure. It is a terrifying reality to recognize that the only thing that stands between you and rape is the presence of a public audience.
- Sabah Khodir
Photography by Salma El Kashef
So how does End Quote work?
We have constantly been co-writing poetry or prose together, and thought of initiating a page where we could incorporate our thoughts and work through an artistic platform that will allow other people in the Arab world to do the same. End Quote only uses original work, as in pieces of writing or artwork that have not yet been published but carry a lot of promise.
Do you work with particular photographers and artists?
Yes we work with Nada Elkalaawy who is an Egyptian artist based in London. She has been receiving distinct attention for her oriental work exhibited in London recently, which encouraged us to reach out to her with our idea and she enthusiastically agreed, realising the opportunity to openly express her artwork on our platform as she could abroad. We are now collaborating with phenomenal Cairo-based Photographers like Haya Khairat and Youssef Alimam along with Syrian artist Essam Jerko. We have also used many photographs our readers have submitted. Nada Elkalaawy, being our main artist, reviews the artwork and decides if it is suitable to publish on End Quote. We then align the photograph or the sketch with a written piece that suits it best.
What is your selection based on?
Being also the main writers and editors of End Quote, we collectively review the pieces that are submitted by our readers and discuss whether or not they are suitable for publishing. We like to focus on work that represents the Arab person, although as much as we admire posts on the Arab spring/culture/religion, we are mostly looking for writers who are looking to break taboos, who can freely express subjects that are only spoken of behind closed doors, and who can easily express emotional conditions without a magnitude of discomfort. We're currently scouting talent and insurgents.
Respect is finding an opportunity in a person and realizing that people aren't gateways or exit wounds.
- Sabah Khodir
Photography by Farah Hegazy
What do you seek to achieve through End Quote?
We view this initiative as an inventive protest, where we are looking to bring to our respective Arab cultures the realities that currently encompass our societies, yet are so severely hushed down and repressed. It has been a privilege to view the ingenuity that exists in our communities that is so frequently overlooked. Our aim is to deliver the human ambiance in us all. We welcome every artist and writer in all their human glory and we urge them to find themselves in their art. We are hoping to appeal to more Arab communities and have them join our team with their original artwork as well as literature.
Do you run any workshops or events?
Since we only started this page a little short of two weeks ago, we have not yet decided on any workshops or events; however, with the rapid growth of our page, the team has discussed the possibilities of upcoming events and we will inform our readers immediately once a decision has been made.
Main Photo Credits: Youssef Alimam