Art attack: Egyptian cartoonists deny artwork banned by Brotherhood
Mohamed El-Sawy. (Photo: Ahram English)
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El Sawy Culturewheel will exhibit artworks it had initially excluded from its The Harvest of 2012 caricature exhibition following a meeting on Monday between Mohamed El-Sawy and members of the Creativity Front.
The Creativity Front, a league of artists and intellectuals committed to protecting freedom of speech and expression, had called for a boycott of the El Sawy Culturewheel, claiming that it had barred some of the artwork in order to “please the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.”
Exhibitions coordinator at El Sawy, Tarek Zayed, told the Al-Ahram Arabic website that the entire episode was a misunderstanding.
Poet Gamal Bakheet, caricaturist Mohamed El-Sabagh and producer Mohamed El-Adl attended the meeting with Mohamed El-Sawy and Tarek Zayed.
El-Sawy, a close associate of the Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly that wrote the constitution, denied barring certain caricatures from its annual cartoon exhibition because they satirised or ridiculed the president and other Islamist figures. It also denied the exhibition would close four days early.
El-Sawy said the pieces in question were refused for technical reasons, including the poor colour and quality of printing, rather than their content. It referred to the presence of a cartoon criticising the government as proof of the absence of censorship at the exhibition.
Zayed said the excluded artworks are now technically fit to be shown at the exhibition, which runs until 9 January.
The cultural centre also said The Harvest of 2012, as well as other upcoming shows by the Egyptian Caricature Association, will continue to abide by the general policy of the El Sawy Culturewheel, “which is based on full respect for freedom of creativity and expression that has set it apart since its establishment in 2003.”