Ammar Abo Bakr
Works for Live Art Denmark
2016: The Lady’s Brigade 4, COLAB
The Lady’s Brigade 4
In May 2016, Amma Abo Bakr spent 20 days in Denmark, most of this time in Copenhagen’s central square Kongens Nytorv. There, he created the large scale graffiti “The Lady’s Brigade 4” as part of Live Art Denmark’s project “COLAB”.
We brought Ammar, like the seven other artists in the project, together with a Danish mentor, Brian Mikkelsen, member of Folketing, the Danish parliament. Brian introduced Ammar to the Danish government and its politics. To relate to his experience of Denmark, Copenhagen and Kongens Nytorv in a site specific way, Ammar decided to overwrite a mural by Henrik Dybdahl and Phuc van Dang on a construction fence opposite Hotel d’ Angleterre.
Henrik Dybdahl had printed historic pictures of King Nytorv on plastic plates and Phuc van Dang overlaid them with graphic figures. Ammar Abo Bakr added a third layer, rather than starting with a monochrome wall. Based on his conversations with Brian Mikkelsen, the work on the wall evolved day after day, commenting on daily news, almost like a newspaper.
About the Artist
Ammar Abo Bakr is a well-known muralist and graffiti artist in Egypt. Some focal points of his work are the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Egyptian history, and Islamic culture. Throughout the revolution, Ammar Abo Bakr painted amidst resistance from the police force, who would cover his art with white paint as soon as they could get to it. His work often challenges government measures or injustices and is most famously found on Mohamed Mahmoud Street.
However, it can also be seen in other places in Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt. In an interview with Sarah Mousa of Jadaliyya, Abo Bakr said, “…While we [artists] strongly oppose the military and want to mark that stance, we love the people and would also like to present art to the people… I want to present something of beauty to people who can see it, see that their streets have beautiful murals and feel joy.”