Bahia Shehab’s Struggle in Artistic Expression
Bahia Shehab, an esteemed university professor, brought her spirit of defiance and enlightenment to the streets of Stavanger, Norway, in September 2017. Through her art, she aimed to educate and motivate, infusing the walls with a powerful message of resistance born during the Egyptian revolution.
The Inspiration Behind “How Big is The Idea”
Shehab’s mural in Stavanger draws its essence from a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The artwork, titled “How Big is the Idea,” encapsulates the third stanza of Darwish’s poem. This stanza reads, “How vast is the revolution, How narrow is the journey, How big is the idea, How small is the state.”
Poetic Illustration of Activism
For the attentive observer, a smaller text accompanies the main piece, showcasing the fourth stanza of Darwish’s poem: “how small is the state.” This subtle yet potent addition amplifies Shehab’s commentary on the power of ideas and activism in combating the forms of civil oppression she witnesses daily in Cairo, Egypt, her hometown.
Medium and Context
Using the medium of spray paint, Shehab’s mural at Siriskjeret 13A, 4014 Stavanger, transforms an apartment building’s wall into a canvas for thought-provoking typographic and historical street art. Her creation, part of the street art movement, operates as a stencil, depicting the resilience and strength inherent in voicing dissent.
Reflections on Art and Activism
In Shehab’s perspective, while art possesses the capacity to inspire, it often falls short in compelling action. Her mural stands as a testament to the belief that to achieve meaningful change, particularly in her region, more than artistic expression is required; it necessitates active participation and engagement.
Conclusion: Bahia Shehab’s Indelible Mark
Bahia Shehab, through her poignant and eloquent mural in Stavanger, echoes the sentiments of resistance, resilience, and the potency of ideas against oppression. Her artwork not only serves as a visual tribute to activism but also sparks contemplation and conversation, leaving an enduring impression within the realm of street art.
I am a mural enthusiast and a fervent admirer of street art. Rather than creating murals myself, I am passionate about collecting them. My love for street art knows no bounds. I am dedicated to curating and cherishing these artworks that grace the streets. My collection stands as a testament to my profound appreciation for this form of artistic expression.
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