Audio Narrative by: Aliaa El Gready
“Has anyone [of the artists] ever confronted himself or herself and had the guts to say out loud: ” This is not for me? I am burned out and I am not supposed to do this job. Am I the right person for it anyway?”, wondered Alia El Gready, a visual artist and co-founder of the Gudran Association for Art and Development.
Alia exposes the moments of truth in her life where she had to stop and reflect on her practice as an artist, one who seeks change in communities during the twenty-five years of her career.
Since she was a young artist in the 90s, she recognized that back in this time there was and there is still is a huge gap between the visual artists and their communities. The artists then were living in their ivory tower and didn’t want to mingle with the reality and the society around them. The role of the artists is filling the gap between artwork and the community; the artists have to step out of their conceptual world and start to work on explaining.
According to Alia, modesty and humbleness should be the qualities of a community artist. She shares her experience and the milestones of her learning journey and the development of her practices with the encounter of the community and the raising of questions around the art and development and the role of the artists.
Passing through different phases, she reflects on the long-term work and effort needed to build trust with the communities, the authorities, and the thrives of a euphoric momentum created by an incomplete revolution and its impact on the work that she, and her organization, has spent to build and to develop in reaction to their ecosystem.