The Unapologetically Feminist Caricatures of Dina Zaitoun
Ripe with hyper-feminine motifs and colour palettes, Dina Zaitoun's visual stories show women as they are, full of complexity, brutality, and unabashed sensuality.
“Art inspires emotions. It can ignite thoughts and question convictions,” feminist artist Dina Zaitoun tells CairoScene. More popularly known as Artopathic, Zaitoun is one of the women telling the story of the Arab female experience. Her work, ripe with hyper-feminine motifs and colour palettes, like bubblegum pinks and rich flora, use visual cues that are traditionally thought of as ‘girly’ to bring across aggressive messages, creating an ironic pairing that is both punchy and forceful.
A graphic artist and typographist, Zaitoun’s works mirror the interior complexity and rawness of women. From body hair, menstruation, and unattainable beauty standards, Zaitoun’s work addresses some of the darkest parts of the female experience in all of its ugliness - the ripping flesh and hairy bodies - and like witchcraft transforms them into precisely what provides women with power.
“I was feminist since I was six or so. I always wanted the same rights and refused to be treated unfairly just because I’m a girl,” Zaitoun says. “I had some misogynistic sexist beliefs, which I think is part of my journey since I was raised in a patriarchal sexist society, but I’ve grown out of them and I’m still learning.” Her visual stories show women as they are, full of complexity, brutality, and unabashed sensuality. It is this rage that still proves controversial and uncomfortable, demonstrating exactly why we need more of it.
“Every woman’s struggle is my struggle. We are all in this together, even if we don’t go through the same exact situations we are all experiencing injustice and discrimination in one way or another.”
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