When Art Meets Activism: Egyptian Artist Yassin Talks Gaza & Humanity

Yassin, a young Egyptian artist whose name has been associated with imprisonment, mediating between the artistic and the political scenes. As a duty, and as a human response Yassin has been using his brush strokes to meditate on the current situation in Gaza, between brutal loss and impossible living conditions, his brushstrokes reveal a pure human side, customary of the artist.

We reached out to Yassin, who didn’t hesitate to express in honest words his love for Palestine which as he said “originated from childhood.”

“For years, I have been painting about Palestine, and the Palestinian cause itself has a huge impact on me. I feel helpless and guilty when I am unable to watch or cry because of what is happening.”

Yassin then shared with us a selection of some of the breadth of artwork he made about Palestine since the beginning of the current attacks.

Via Yassin

His paintings, especially the ones for Palestine, are snapshots from images, highlights from footage, or live coverage that has gone viral. In short, they are moments captured by camera, that he further transmits into his art, adding his own touch. In a sense, this comes naturally to him.

“Art for me it’s a god-gifted talent, not an academically acquired one. I am able to paint away whatever I am feeling. The Palestinians are my people, and the Palestinian cause is not a Palestinian nation problem, but an Arab nation problem…it is a matter of existence.”

Among the moments captured delicately by Yassin’s brushes is one that caused millions of people lots of pain, that of the Palestinian martyred child “Youssef”, also known as “Curly head, white, and handsome”, a beautiful quote that dismantles its beauty once understood in its real-life context.

The artist asserted that he not only dedicates art to Palestine as a way of trying to make change through deploying his skills, but he is also a devout boycotter of businesses and people who propagate for the Zionist project.

Via Yassin

Yassin was born in rural Egypt, and then moved to Cairo, and the rural element is undeniably present in his art. His art- in many ways could be seen as a way of documenting these moments into something more eternal and less volatile than art. Yassin is one of the artists of their collectivity- working on the margin by providing honest art that shall speak for Palestinian people for decades to come.

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