Freedom Fighters – Arab spring

Arab people couldn't take any more. Revolution icons made out of a digital collage process.
With the support of CNAP - National Center for Plastic Arts, French Ministry for Culture. Shortlisted at Sony World Photography Awards 2012, Portrait Fine Art category. On show at international photojournalism festival Visa Pour l'Image 2012, at Iremmo in 2013, in Marseille and Dunkerque in the group exhibition 'Arab Springs' in 2012 et 2013, curated by Alain Mingam.
Personal projects

‘1/25’ – Egypt

June 2012 - Egypt
Portraits of activists and players of the Egyptian revolution of January 25th 2011, which has led to the fall of president Hosni Mubarak on february 11th, 2011. A year and a half later, for the most of them revolution continues, as setting deeply democratic values is a painstaking mission that requires time. In the meantime the Muslim Brothers won the political game, seemingly at least, but seed for change has been planted for sure.
Graphic inspiration for this series came from the walls around Tahrir square mainly. Layers and layers of expression, graffitis, drawings, municipal paint recovering, stencils... led me to reproduce the spirit on these walls while integrating thoses various freedom fighters.

‘2/20’ – Morocco

November 2011 - Morocco
Portraits of activists of the M20 - Movement of the 20th of February - the organisation that gathers all those dissenting the current non-parliamentary monarchy, claiming out for eradicating corruption, nepotism, and asking for greater justice, individual rights, freedom of expression... This movement has set up many protests all along 2011 in the main cities of the kingdom, and had called to boycott the anticipated legislative poll of november 25th, 2011 the king Mohamed VI set to calm down the moroccan street and avoid any propagation of the arab spring.
Graphic inspiration for this series came from the ubiquitous presence of the framed picture of King Mohamed VI in virtually every shop, hotel, train station, and administrative buildings of course. I decided to replace his image with those of the militants, which sounds like a capital offence.

‘3/15’ – Syria

September 2011 - Turkey
Portraits of Syrian refugees in Hatay Province, Turkey, where they have fled by thousands to escape Bachar El Assad's terrible repression, and for some to be able to go on with a daily Internet activism which almost exclusively consists of uploading and publishing amateur videos on Youtube.
Graphic inspiration for this series came from the abundant amateur videos testifying of the atrocities by Al Assad's regime, sometimes unbearable, and at the time almost the sole "proofs" available (see the video 'Syrial Killer' on the page 'Arab Spring').

‘2/17’ – Libya

March 2011 - Libya
Portraits taken in Benghazi and near the frontline in Brega. All graffitis and slogans were found on Benghazi walls or inside the media center on the Mahkama square in Benghazi. That naturally led me to the graphic inspiration for this series.

‘1/14’ – Tunisia

January, February 2011 - Tunisia
Portraits of activist dissidents who played their part against dictator Ben Ali through the Internet. Bloggers, hyper-active facebookers, computer engineers, data journalists ...
Graphic inspiration for this series is made of web captures, where I looked for web symbols, codes, twitter and facebook timelines extracts,... I collected visual material on the Internet, a major tool in the Tunisian revolutionary success.

Press review

5 Comments on “Freedom Fighters – Arab spring”

  1. Thank you Omar. I’ll do it !! when I can sneak in or simply enter the country… in the meantime a new series is coming up shortly, made with some Syrian refugees on Turkish side.

  2. Pingback: Portraits des révolutionnaires arabes du Web « EastWestWestEast

  3. Pingback: Breaking News in Revolutionary Art: Johann Rousselot’s “Freedom Fighter” series « A Revolution in Fiction

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