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Portraits of Liberation: How Souls Spread Their Wings

Far from Middle Eastern iconography, Karim Abd Elmalak portrays a world in which fantasy and reality seem to fuseA painter, designer and sculptor, this award-winning artist is filling Cairo’s galleries and businesses with glimpses of soaring genius.

What’s your favorite painting?

Epic of the Soul. It represents a parallelism between the cocoon turning into a butterfly and the soul reaching its freedom stateI’m always trying to communicate with people’s souls through my paintings, because I believe that we are souls in a physical form. In that painting, the clock behind the woman has struck 12:00, representing a new state of spiritual freedom.

What does this freedom state mean to you?

It’s not about political freedom, it’s about setting our spirits free. I think we should all do it, but it is not an easy task in this part of the world. There’s an internal war between the spiritual state and the physical one, which is conditioned by politics, religion and and stereotypes.

In your paintings women are sexy, feminine and not covered. Is this also a form of liberation?

Well, I’m trying to paint souls; that’s why they are transparent. In my view women are home, town, the earth. They are the source of the universe and the teacher of all societies. They are always my source of inspiration.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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