KOH-Talks #2: What is the exchange rate for exposure?

Podcast with: Mohamed Abdelkarim, Rania Atef and Mohamed Al Bakeri.

Bakeri: Okay to begin with, good evening to everyone listening! I am Mohamed Al Bakeri, one of the members of the artist group K-oh-llective. This is the first guest episode of our podcast where we will discuss a range of topics and issues. In the previous episode, we  introduced who we are, what we do, how we organised ourselves and formed the collective. I just want to say one quick thing, there will always be a rotation on which member(s) of the K-oh-llective will speak with our invited guests, depending on the interests and availability of the group members.

I have with me Rania Atef, one of the members of K-oh-llective, and our guest Mohamed Abdelkarim. Mohamed Abdelkarim isan Egyptian artist currently based in Egypt. When we first started talking together about what we would like to discuss, we put together a list of topics that we feel are important and worth tackling. We tried to see which artists or art practitioners would be interested in the chosen topic, even if that isn't the main focus of their work or their practice, but at least would be engaged in it and would like to discuss it. Abdelkarim, would you like to talk about your art practice first before we start?  

Abdelkarim: Okay, so as you said I am based in Cairo. I am a visual artist working with different mediums. Lately, I have been interested in performance, or more specifically works that are considered performative. I also work with video and installation.

Bakeri: and text.

Abdelkarim: yes text, artworks in the form of text, what else, that's it. So my work has lately been about vocabularies and definitions, such as mobility and immigration. I am also interested in what we can call performativity in text, in language, but language as in spoken language. Actually, I can frame what I am trying to say as this; I am interested in writing, what is written to be spoken, I mean, that has to do with script writing, plays, lyrics, speeches, etc.

Bakeri: Okay I would like to give a quick context as to where we are coming from and why we want to talk with you about the topic I will mention now. In today’s episode, we want to go over wages in general, artists fees and the dynamics between that and institutions and art spaces where work gets exhibited. There are also a few factors that are directly and indirectly related to it.

You were part of the Roznama Studio Program in 2018, and we also know that you already have a personal interest in the issue of wages. You also moderated a workshop, through which a publication came out, and there was a section of it called “Attempts to Understand Reality”. This publication was produced by the program’s participants, and at that time you were asking questions, and you would then review answers by different people about certain concepts related to exposure or what is commercial vs. non-commercial, and then this survey of people’s reactions was gathered to be part of the publication.

I therefore feel that I would like to start with three points which are artist fees, exploitation and exposure. How does each affect the other, and how does an emerging artist or even a mid-career artist basically decide whether the opportunity he/she is offered is beneficial in terms of exposure, and when does he/she begin to suspect that it is actually a form of exploitation and not exposure. How is all that related to free labour, or how you, as an artist, can gain a sense and be able to identify whether the opportunity is exploitative or not.

Abdelkarim: You mentioned several points, so I will try to talk about them from a completely personal point of view. It might be from past experience, what I'm currently going through or what I'm thinking about. Thus, far from any specific theoretical umbrella, that has to do with wages or work, or also a theoretical reference, I will talk more about the needs that have to do with the experience itself. Among what I mentioned, was the preoccupation with the subject and how I deal with the issue of wages as an artist. How am I currently dealing with it, and how can I plan or draw lines for the future or if so? All that was originally in the workshop that you recalled at Roznama. We —participants— were all thinking about it, and I provided the means to start. We all sat down and discussed it, and followed that with a simple process, in which we go to the institutions and ask them, in order to know how finances work in our context here in Cairo. For example; how do artist fees work? Why do they pay? How much do they pay? Etc. The goal was not to accuse the institutions and tell them what to pay and what not to pay but to achieve a practical vision.

During these discussions, I proposed a few points. For example, if we go back to 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, during that period I used to take part at the Youth Salon, and there were institutions like Townhouse, like in 2004, there was already CIC (Contemporary Image Collective), etc. And after that there was Madar, there were institutions. But for exhibiting work, that was more happening in the Youth Salon, it was the most attended event at that time. I am saying this because at that time, there was something that was understood implicitly. Showing at the Youth Salon, at that time, meant that we were the ones who were responsible for everything, even devices, whether it was a screen, a DVD-player, or a VHS player. There was no such thing as I will go to the sector and ask for a DVD, there was no DVD. In 2003, VHS or a screen was not a thing. What I am trying to say is that back then, if you needed any of this equipment you were expected to bring them from your house, rent them, buy them, doesn’t matter to them. We would then have a show, possibly win a prize or not. At the time, the exhibition was all we artists strived for, and we were the ones who must make a great effort for it to work. Everything from production means, costs, etc.

Bakeri: That is also because you knew that people would see the exhibition...

Abdelkarim: A lot!

Bakeri: or what follows after the exhibition would be great exposure for your work.

Abdelkarim: Exactly!

Bakeri: And not only that, it is also somewhere between an exhibition and a competition. Competition because there is a prize, and it is not a commercial exhibition therefore it made a bit of sense that they do not pay artist fees.

Abdelkarim: Exactly, and I also believe, that back then, the Youth Salon had a big audience and the exhibitions used to get a lot of visitors, even from other non-governmental institutions. It was therefore the best opportunity for emerging artists to get their work seen.

Bakeri: Absolutely!

Abdelkarim: So the Youth Salon was the opening window for an emerging artist to have their work seen by someone at Townhouse and then exhibit it there, or CIC or for a curator to see it. This was the way to go, even for older generations.

Bakeri: I was just thinking now, I feel that the Youth Salon is a very clear, frank and transparent example.

Abdelkarim: A clear direct relationship.

Bakeri: Very clear, and you know what they will offer you and what to expect going into it. Whereas often exhibitions in galleries or art spaces, when you come to think about it, everyone who worked towards the opening of the show, from the art handler to the decorator who paints the walls, they all get paid for their work and contribution. Everyone but the artist who has the show! I am not sure if there is some sort of defect or misunderstanding when it comes to this matter but I will never understand how some spaces can get away with that.

Abdelkarim: You mean at the Youth Salon or in general?

Bakeri: No, I meant in general if we are talking about exhibition fees. I think the Youth Salon was an opener to talk about that but also exposure.

Abdelkarim: As exposure and a period of time, I mean, I think if someone came to me at the Youth Salon in 2004, and asked if they paid artist fees? I would have said what fees? Because then what was common was that you make money when you sell work. Whereas a fee in exchange for participating in an exhibition, this was unknown to me and others around me in the context of Cairo.

Bakeri: That is the thing, it has become very normalised and comfortable for institutions to say that there are no fees in exchange for showing work. Also most of the time, the space doesn't fund the work that will be shown either, so there are no production fees. You therefore become dependent on the exposure, which is not guaranteed to be beneficial, I don't even know what it is based on or how is it calculated? Is it based on the gallery’s online following? Or is it about the turn out in the physical space? I fail to understand how exposure works and when I should start seeing it’s benefits. Do you understand what I mean?

Abdelkarim: Yes, I get you.

Bakeri: I have also heard that if a space helped fund the production of the work then they might not offer artist fees, or if the work is not supposed to sell.

Rania: If it is not for sale.

Bakeri: If it is not for sale, you will get artist fees, but if it is for sale you don't, what does this say about exploitation. I feel like it is very important as an emerging artist to be aware of it and have some kind of radar on whether the opportunity offers “real exposure” or if it is exploitation framed as exposure. Do you know what I mean?

Abdelkarim: Exactly!

Rania: I just have a comment. The Youth Salon example is linked to the art scene here in Egypt, it was the only one, meaning that there weren't several Youth Salons. So comparing that to what is happening now, I also feel that things are more open to one another. One doesn't only exhibit in Egypt and is only interested in its context, we have now become exposed to a much wider artistic scene. I think it used to be a lot clearer and simpler in the past.

Bakeri: Relationships were clearer.

Rania: The world was a lot smaller, here there was the Youth Salon, there were not hundreds of opportunities waiting for you, so you would not be asking which is good and which is exploitative and taking your work for granted.

Abdelkarim: There is also another thing, I was not comparing. I was only referring to when people come to me asking about it. Like for example we are currently discussing wages, this is something in itself. I mean things have changed. The Youth Salon is a competition by the way, the format is that it is a competition. Competitions exist all over the world until now, with big ones like the “Future Generation Art Prize”. All of them do not offer a fee for exhibiting or presenting. What I am trying to say is that there used to be a generation and I think it's now over, the Youth Salon is over, I don't mean it's over... I think it's still happening actually!

Bakeri: Its influence is over.

Abdelkarim: Its influence is completely over. But at that time, for our generation, if the artistic process, this process of showing work, came from the culture of the Youth Salon (the basis). The financial situation was very clear because it is a competition. The workers are employees who get salaries, a small amount, but they get something. So any fees here were based on the award. Artists were spending a lot on their work, as if they were playing roulette, they put everything they could for the grand prize.

Bakeri: It is like investing, literally.

Abdelkarim: Investing, a chance.

Bakeri: Investing because there is an ambition it will come back with a second chance.

Abdelkarim: But I cannot compare!

Rania: No, of course not. Because the world has really changed and so did the rules. Speaking of paid workers, I think the only thing that is up for negotiation is the artist fees; will he/she be paid or not.

Bakeri: Because you will never tell a worker you will benefit from people seeing how well you did your job, therefore there is no money to offer. Even if you say I will reimburse you for the materials purchased and you will not be paid for your labour, that will never be accepted. There is no such thing!

Rania: Yes, of course not!

Abdelkarim: And by the way —I don't know if someone might disagree— but people who are involved in the artistic process other than the artist themselves; the editor, translator, etc. they all get paid or are expected to be paid. I am not saying they get paid well, but for them the profession and accountability in this matter is a bit clearer than for an artist. If you are working on a video for example, I think everyone who helps in the process of its making has very clear professions so they get money accordingly. I don't know if it is based on an hourly rate or the duration of the video. Colorists, for example, will be paid in a different way, this is what I mean. My point is, that the artist is not tyrannised nor irrelevant, but as a profession it is very difficult to calculate the working hours as it has no scale and no meter.

Bakeri: It has no fare hahaha.

Abdelkarim: Yes exactly. How do we get paid, is it by how many hours it took to complete the work? Or by a meter or what? It is very different from other creative jobs within the artistic process that are more technical, such as editing, montage, translation, design, etc. I can claim that all (art) workers in the world and Egypt are not paid fairly. But I mean, at least, you know how you are getting paid. This is the artist who gets or does not get money in a field or exhibition, and the rest of the people get paid. Whether it was a good sum of money or not, but at least they know how it works.

Bakeri: Okay, I want to ask a question. Can each of you guys give me a definition of “Exposure” and “Exploitation”? Like how would you define it within our field?

Abdelkarim: I mean, I feel like it is very difficult and rare to agree to an opportunity and make work and feel that someone took advantage of you, regardless of whether you were paid very little or nothing at all. However, when a reputable museum reaches out, knowing that you as an emerging to mid-career artist would never decline an opportunity to exhibit there, then you discover that they have nothing to offer you, you might feel that it was exploitative action. This is because you know very well there is no such thing as no budget for an institution this big! And then here is when you start feeling that someone is twisting your arm.

Bakeri: I believe that there is a kind of exploitation when you agree with a person because you know that you are getting something in return. So in the case of the museum, having your name exhibited there is rewarding enough, and therefore both parties are on the same page and sign the agreement with you knowing well enough that it is probably exploitative, but they know that they’re also probably giving you something that you want. Here, we can discuss or argue whether it is exploitation or not since the reward of getting this kind of exposure might cover for no expenses. There are other opportunities on the other hand that truly do not make up for giving up on your fees, and produce and show work without anything in return!

Abdelkarim: Sorry to interrupt you but there is also this promise that you will show your work in this “Great Museum” for free this time with an implicit promise that it will follow with exposure and fame later. When will this happen? When I am 20, 25, or when? Especially since this institution is very important, they can easily forget. Which makes you question if this promise is genuine and if so when should one expect it to become a reality? Here, this is the detailed exploitation that is not tied to a specific party, institution, person nor a specific contract, but it always exists as if you are in debt because of a promise that you might get fame, an opportunity to show or even exposure someday.

Rania: The question is why does one want to exhibit in a museum? or a grand biennale? Why does an artist strive for this step? Because this takes you from “only exposure” to artist and production fees! As you go on with your career as an artist, you start from places that either offer you no money, or very little which wouldn’t cover the work you’ve put in. There is then an expectation that when you reach museum shows you would get artist fees, but even then you get nothing...

Abdelkarim: Then you wonder who is supposed to give me money?! Hahaha

Rania: And in fact, you exhibit in a museum hoping that the next one will offer fees!

Bakeri: I’ll tell them excuse me but how?!

Abdelkarim: Which leads us to the most brutal way to get work done. I did not see it happen outside of Egypt or the region, but it definitely happens in Egypt! Which is that if there is a group exhibition, each artist is dealt with separately and differently...

Bakeri: Yes!

Abdelkarim: We will tell artist X “there are no fees”, and we will ask artist Y “how much is good for her?" And when she gives a number, we’ll offer her half the amount. Whereas we are very excited to have artist Z in the show and will therefore offer him what he wants.

Bakeri: And I also get the feeling that each to their own cleverness rule applies, as well as the immense secrecy, I mean, I don't think an artist knows how much the other takes unless he/she is a friend. It is never explicit, transparent nor clear, and it is never something comfortable to ask for.

Rania: This is related to the idea that the artist's job is not controlled or monitored. I do not believe that there is any profession that has this amount of confidentiality and ambiguity. Whereas an engineer for example, you know that there is a syndicate, a work office and there is a scale, there are job advertisements that offer a range for it. Artists on the contrary remain as individuals, there are no syndicates to protect, nor collectivities that would fight unpaid labour, etc.

Bakeri: I think this also applies to the idea of individual and collective attitudes towards this. Whether you are claiming your right individually or collectively, because that can either change the situation or ruin your chances!

Abdelkarim: As an example, if I was to organise an exhibition and I plan to invite three or four artists from K-oh-llective, and I want to pay the least amount of money for it, I will think 50 times before I negotiate with the artists. This is because they operate as an artist group so I will have to be fair even if I wasn't planning on doing so. I will be dealing with an entity so I can't play these games of paying one and not the other.

Bakeri: It also proves how important it is for artists to discuss similar matters and issues amongst each other. The more the stigma or fear of speaking up breaks, the more the organiser will think a million times before deciding on artist fees, on who to offer 15 pounds, 5 pounds or nothing.

Abdelkarim: There is slight tension in finding a solution for the context we have here, and it is that some spaces have economic relationships with the state, they pay taxes in a certain way, etc. Which means they receive services in a certain way, and make contracts that are recognised by the state, and the profession itself is recognised by the state. In that context, there is a certain economic relationship between artists and art practitioners and between the government, including the taxes, benefits, health insurance, etc. In that case, the half-asked job of “I will pay you your fees and send you an agreement that we call a contract” but in fact has no value, will not work. Here in Egypt however, since you try to avoid problems all the time, one will not think of initiating an agreement with the state. I am not trying to be a pessimist, but I feel that even if we want to organise it collectively as artists, it still won’t work. You will organise it and prefer to work underground like this, afraid to take risks, afraid your money won't be confiscated, so how can we set a fair wage in a field or industry that does not even exist?

Someone once told me something. There was a Biennale about 10 years ago, and at that time I really wanted to show my work in a Biennale and in different contexts than in a group exhibition. So when I received an invitation, I was over the moon, and the work they asked for was already pre-existing. I was not aware at the time that I should be asking for an artist fee, so I waited for them to mention it; if they would pay anything, and if so how much? Until I went to the Biennale and exhibited my work, then I knew that they of course pay the travel and accommodation fees, but I haven't received fees. After that incident, I was told something that has always stuck with me. The curator of the Biennale, whom I knew for a long time, sensed that the remuneration was unfair, and so she asked me: “How much are they paying you?” I told her I swear I haven't been paid a single penny.

Bakeri: So they didn't even mention it! Not only did they not pay but they also pretended as if they didn't notice, instead of admitting it blatantly that there are no fees. Play an idiot basically! I feel that if someone admits and acknowledges that he/she is supposed to pay you, but are unable to due to insufficient funds for example, it makes it a little acceptable as you know it is your right but they are helpless. Not acknowledging it or pretending it is not a thing is however a problem for me.

Abdelkarim: Yes exactly! I told her frankly they didn't pay me anything. She told me and did you ask? I told her no. She then said something very important! Of course, she understood how happy I was regardless, since it is my first Biennale, but she told me to always ask for two reasons; To get paid the full fee that you set for yourself and will satisfy you, but also to make a stance. In short, you ask: “How much are the fees for exhibiting artists?” If they reply by saying we don't have a budget, you can then follow up on that by "Not even a symbolic fee for participating, it doesn't have to be a full fee?" With more questions and confrontation like “how come there are no wages? This is a Biennale with great artists participating?” One of two things can happen; they’ll either start taking it into account and pay you a fee even if it is little, and not only for you, but for all others taking part. But then if they approach someone else later on, they understand and pay attention to the fact that “we pay artist fees”, just to draw their “attention”. So here you will also stress on the culture of “pay artist fees, even if it is a symbolic amount”, even a small amount just so you make a stance. That this is not an Auto Biennale, then they are confirming with us that being an artist is a profession, it has its money, its economy, right? It's not just a hobby that people do in their spare time.

Rania: I will say something about this idea of negotiation, I don’t think a lot of artists are able to do it. I think it takes some time before the artist feels that he/she can ask, because there is always a bit of embarrassment that comes with the question. One might also feel that spaces/institutions are in stronger positions than us, or that there is a relationship that is not balanced. I think this has changed slightly in the last few years though, now an artist knows that it is within his/her right to ask for fees, that the question embarrasses the organisation not the artist, putting the institutions in a sticky situation that questions their values; how can an artist work for free, since it is a job not a hobby.

Abdelkarim: Especially if you only work as an artist, what did you do then? A full-time artist, for example, I don't have a morning job, for example. I mean I am one of the people who used to get very embarrassed to ask about fees, even with a Biennale or similar. I did not have this awareness, so I used to think they would call me greedy and avaricious. But after a while, when I decided to make art my full-time job and I produced and worked as a studio artist, I felt the need to ask for these fees so I could sustain myself, it wasn't even about making a stance or anything, it was necessary to be able to have a job as an artist and be able to live from it.

Bakeri: But also what some fail to notice is that making art is not just a job, it is a complete practice. There is money needed for research, for studio rent, for developing a website, for funding the production of work, it is a complete project that always requires money. Do you understand what I mean?

Rania: Yes, of course. When you write proposals asking for funds or grants, what I have always found very strange and unjustifiable, is that artist fees are always set to the bare minimum. Sometimes a project will require a full year and a half of work, or maybe even more than that, how long do they expect that minimum wage to last for? I feel that they want the majority of the money to be spent on the production of the work as it is what will be on display, but I don't know why..

Bakeri: So you want to produce and take money, too? Not only that, but what is considered the norm is if you find yourself working on a project with a medium budget, your fee as the artist could be the same as anyone else who has a secondary role in your own project. For instance, if you are working towards a publication, your artist fee may be less than the graphic designer. To me this is very strange and doesn't make sense, but it is common unfortunately. Aside from the fact that projects take a long time to develop, and need hundreds of dedicated hours and a lot of work, they also require endless expenses no matter how much you try to narrow the margin. So you end up with nothing especially if your artwork is not sellable.

Rania: This is a crisis!

Bakeri: Yes, a serious crisis!

Rania: Yes because what I will get as an artist fee should equate to what I will be making as a living, since I have no guarantee of selling at all.

Bakeri: You get 10-15% of the grant as artist fees. The work is not easily sellable, as in it's not a drawing, painting or sculpture for example. You then want to exhibit the work, only to find out that the exhibiting institution won't pay you. It is as if the work is produced then dies off. When it comes to exhibiting you find no straightforward system nor infrastructure for showing work in a way that is sustainable and allows you make a living, from the artist fee itself not from artwork sales.

Abdelkarim: And that is the problem. I don't have that much experience in terms of sales, since I dont sell, as in I don't work with commercial galleries etc, but from discussing it with friends who do so, it sounds that they have several issues as well. Different kinds of problems but at least they're a bit more obvious, like prices, percentages, etc. It is complicated but..

Bakeri: But the progression is clearer, and there are criterias that help assess where you are now and in 5-10 years from now, or at least you would have an idea. The idea is that the example of getting 10-15% as artist fee from a grant perhaps increased a little. If an artist takes 10-15% as fees out of their grant, but has an infrastructure in exhibiting work that does not sell, and receives a fee every time he/she participates in an exhibition, then it will be understandable. It will be understood that they will not make money from the grant, but every time the work is shown, a fee will be paid. I mean, I feel that this system is underdeveloped, or the division of 10-15% is reduced in the event that you are in a country or region where it is known that every time you exhibit you get rewarded a fee, especially if we’re talking about video work for example. Video work can be shown several times which can be great if the artist fees gained from exhibiting make-up in return for selling a single work. Logical, don't you think?

Rania: Yes, but also there is time needed for production, right? Which can take up to several years. This is why I believe the way artists' wages are calculated in grants are not enough until at least the artist is done with production...

Abdelkarim: There is something that I never understood about this issue, and this is what I think —the issue of the artist's fees in production grants— I feel that it is more important than perhaps artist fees in general. This is because it is very specific and it can be solved. I imagine, as you said, the artist will not be able to take more than 20% of the grant, but he/she will have worked on it for a year or two, and then another contributor, whether an editor, designer, editor, etc. will take 15-20% as well, but there is timeframe for their working period—for example a month. That is what baffles me, do they still think that an artist is very passionate, and therefore is able to work on his/her project for years, when the fees given can barely suffice the first four months, that is if the grant is big enough! This leads to moments during the production period —which are a little absurd— but you question the money you have for making this project, which is not sellable and has no alternative fate other than exhibiting it when a chance arises —which you will have to struggle to get artist fees for— or even exposure hahaha!

Bakeri: I want to know something else. I want to know who initiated and promoted this concept, the idea that the artist fee in the grant cannot exceed 20%? What is the basis for it? What is the point of view, as long as the decision to fund the selected project remains based on the needs of the concept of work itself, or the project, I mean. Why is the 20% not 30% or 40% even? What is the explanation? This is what I am dying to understand.

Rania: I don't know, I don't personally have an answer for it. I think it is a question for institutions or people working there who can inform us on what happens behind closed doors. What is their point of view? Is it for instance, that the governing bodies that provide grants for institutions are more keen on the artwork than the artist himself/herself? since that is what will be exhibited not the artist who will receive the 40%?

Abdelkarim: There are no sabbatical grants, actually there probably are, but not a lot. I mean grants that allow you to just sit in your studio and work, and work also does not mean that you have to produce a specific project, or produce a new film everyday or make prints. I mean work as in a period of time for thinking and research. You know what is ironic, is that the Plastic Arts Sector and the Ministry of Culture have a grant called the “The Sabbatical Grant” and they provide a monthly salary. By the way, this grant exists till this day but it is divided into categories according to the age of the artist, etc. However, this is an annual grant and if the artist wishes to extend it, it has to be renewed. Right now it is 3000 EGP, and there is one that is 2000 EGP, etc. I took it back in 2006 for a year, it was around 750 EGP, which used to be enough to pay for a studio rent and I would have a little left.

Rania: And do they ask for work in return?

Abdelkarim: No, they don't ask for work, they ask for a report. This report is to tell them how this grant has benefited your practice, whether you have made any specific endeavors or a specific effort. It is not a must to have produced a project.

Rania: I think they now expect you to have produced work during that period…

Abdelkarim: Is that in the application process?

Rania: No, I think towards the end.

Abdelkarim: Oh, really?

Rania: But it can be something very simple. I mean if you have a grant for a year, surely you will have made some work, even if it is basic or preliminary. The existence of this grant however is important and how many artists get granted per year, in comparison to all artists...

Abdelkarim: They changed it as well, I think artists used to receive this grant for life in the past.

Bakeri: No way?!

Abdelkarim: Yes but I think now it is a maximum of 3 years, something like that. To be honest though, there are a lot of artists who were very old, we’re talking 70 or 80 years and they had stopped selling. I'm talking about a generation of painters that have survived, with no sales and no shows, who were dependent on this grant. For them, they got a larger sum of money so they used to pay for their apartments rent, living expenses, etc. I think this is the only example I know of in Egypt that can be considered as public funding. There are several grants for writers and book authors though.

Bakeri: They are usually for short periods of time, 3 months, right?

Abdelkarim: Yes it is not a monthly allowance. I don't know. I feel that this idea of a sabbatical grant exists in other countries, which is based on the idea that an artist does not have another part-time job. In general, it is an existing system and it can evolve, or change.

Bakeri: Well that is great!

Rania: I feel like we can sit and talk about this topic until tomorrow morning!

Bakeri: And we would still have more to say!

Rania: And everyone comes forward with things, you know?

Bakeri: I feel that this topic can be revisited after a while. Seriously, because it is also very relatable, and connected to many other issues and topics. I kept holding myself mid-conversation from saying things that might interrupt the flow and lead us to greater issues.. You get me?

Rania: Yes I get you.

Bakeri: It is not wholly independent, you can easily and smoothly get into and out of it.

Rania: Shall we wrap up?

Bakeri: Yes I think so. First and foremost, thank you very much for your time.

Abdelkarim: Thank you guys, it was a lovely conversation!

Bakeri: And for inaugurating our podcast, and next time…

Rania: I think this topic matters for a lot of people!

Bakeri: Yes absolutely, to be honest I feel like it was important for me to discuss this topic and I believe others will feel the same.

Abdelkarim: I just hope we didn't upset anyone!

Bakeri: No, hopefully no one will be upset hahaha.

Abdelkarim: We love all people, including those who don't pay us artist fees hahaha

Bakeri: And we want exposure! I don't know who will be our next guest on the podcast but we will discover together, stay tuned!

Mohamed Abdelkarim is a visual artist who lives and works in Cairo. Abdelkarim’s practice is performance-oriented. He considers performance as a research method and a practice through which he produces texts and images that embody the forms of poetry, scripts, sound, and video.

 🇵🇸 We Will Not Stand by in Silence: ︎︎︎ Read the Statement & Add your Name to the Signatories ✦ 🇵🇸 Read the latest text by Karim Kattan, At the Threshold of Humanity: Gaza is not an Abstraction ✦  🇵🇸 Visit our page Resources for Palestine for a compilation of texts, films, podcasts, statements and ways to donate.
🇵🇸We Will Not Stand by in Silence:  ︎︎︎ Read the Statement & Add your Name to the Signatories🇵🇸 Read the latest text by Karim Kattan, At the Threshold of Humanity: Gaza is not an Abstraction  ✦  🇵🇸 Visit our page Resources for Palestine for a compilation of texts, films, podcasts, statements and ways to donate.