Fi shaqqati bab al-Luq
Dina Maher, Ganzeer, Ahmed Nady
Dar Merit
The publication "Fi shaqqati bab al-Luq" was released in 2014 for the Egyptian publishing house Dar Merit. The book represents a real work of narrative and artistic experimentation since it combines the text of the Egyptian writer Dina Maher with the graphics of the artist Ganzeer, ending with the graphic novel by Ahmed Nady. This narrative chain finds continuity in the story that unfolds from page to page in the form of a "noir poem". In the first pages, through a first-person story, a man observes from his window what is happening on the street, imagining, remembering, observing the daily life of the streets of Bab al-Luq, an area close to Tahrir Square. Often the gaze also goes inside the apartment, where time seems suspended. Dina Maher's extremely engaging text accompanies the reader, leading his eyes through the words and visualizing the small details of Bab al-Luq's apartment. The narrative exploits, thanks to Ganzeer, the potential of visual language, breaking its conventional patterns and fully describing the schizophrenia and psychological malady of the anonymous narrator. In the second part of the comic we have the short graphic novel illustrated by Ahmed Nady and linked to the previous narration by Dina Maher, albeit faster in the narrative rhythm. In the Ahmed Nady comic, created in collaboration with Ganzeer, the story develops on an irregular grid where large black and white figures are the masters. The narrative, inspired by the graphic novel Metro by Megdy al Shafee, this time passes through the dialogues of the characters and defines the contours of a shady story in which the real protagonist is contemporary Egypt. The publication uses Modern Standard Arabic in the first part and Egyptian colloquial Arabic in the second. Fi shaqqati bab al-Luq won the "al-Mawred al-Thaqafy" award and the prestigious illustration award Khalil Award in January 2016 in the "best graphic novel" category.
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