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Murals and Murals and more

August 23, 2023

This is a long overdue post about my recent mural for @blackfuturesfarm.

Many thanks to Nia and crew for paying @spiritscapesss, @happynappystudio and me to make our art. It is rare to feel as if we can shift the work to fit the flow and context of the environment after beginning without the threat of major pushback. So thank you for letting this art go where it needed to go.

As for the subject matter, historically I’ve shied away from using ancestral imagery because Egyptian culture has been co-opted and exotified for hundreds of years. It felt as if by using it I would demonstrate that it’s ok to do so. However, I felt like at this farm, in a place that I feel very at home, folks might be able to hold this complexity more seriously.

Most likely I am not a descendant of kings and queens (though I understand why that narrative has been cultivated.) I embrace the word “felaha” which means farmer or more derogatorily “peasant.” I embrace that direct connection to the land, to dirt underneath my nails, to bare feet, to a reliance on the weather, to the humility of relationship with Mama earth, that the overflowing of the undammed Nile each year meant the well being of my ancestral land. I’m connected to the land, to the foods and soil of Egypt, specifically of the Delta for at least five generations, if not more.

It was an honor to study from the ancestral artists of my homelands, to paint a bee and think “boy that’s a weird representation of a bee” and then keep painting more bees and think “omg I SEE why they carved a bee like that!” I studied the Western “old Masters” by copying their art. This project allowed me to do the same thing, but with more cultural specificity. It was an honor to represent three plants used to open the mind in traditional cultures (the poppy, the marijuana plant and the blue lotus)-my way of honoring the legacy of Afro futurism that this farm tills into the soil and to pray that these plants use & cultivation be returned to the sacred, to honor their gifts to our peoples. I’ve learned so much. 🙏🏼 @sheyamghieth for your help. #ankhinkhstudios #egyptianart #portlandstreetart #swanaartistpdx #swanaplantcestors


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Posts by Sarah Farahat