It started off as an exercise of imagination: Jason Stoneking, an American writer currently doing a residence at Cairo’s Artelewa Art Space, saw the dust-covered dishes that dominate the city’s skyline and pictured a different landscape.
Together with his girlfriend Leslie McAllister, Stoneking began painting satellite dishes on the rooftop of the building where they live, in Ard El-Lewa, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cairo. Soon, the idea became a Facebook page that counts with over 5,800 followers interested in taking the city’s coloring into their own hands.
Just like Dihzahyners, the Lebanese group of young artists that fills Beirut’s staircases with colorful designs, Stoneking’s Dish-Painting initiative gives the city a radical make-up with the simple touch of a brush and a minimal cost. “The process of painting is easy and cheap: One can of paint, which can paint over 20 dishes, costs around EGP 30,” he told Egypt’s Daily News.
Far from an artist-exclusive initiative, Stoneking aims at involving neighbors in different regions to take action and improve their urban space. “I don’t want this to become a foreigner-in-Cairo thing. We want to get people to express themselves through the space,” he said. Guided by this principle, the artists prepared this video tutorial for residents in all areas to follow.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhFXPC9ej8M]
For more information: Follow the Cairo Dish Painting Initiative on their Facebook Page.