I was one of the chosen artists who were asked to collaborate on this fantastic project with Mohammed Ali and his team. I have no previous experience with spray painting so in the beginning, we helped paint the base of the wall, and later we were taught how to spray paint on a wall, believe-you-me, it isn't easy!
Most of my imput and collaboration was on the main idea and thoughts behind the mural. Mohammad had emailed me about his concept "the past, the present and the future". So from there was able to take it away with an essence of our culture and heritage.
Grafitti is about a word, in the center of a composition, the focal point. usually grafiti artists vandalised walls by 'tagging' their names, and from there Mohammad has taken the format of this word, but instead of focusing it on himself, he utilises it to convey a message relating to the region's
The words that I suggested were:
"كيف كان و كيف يكون"
المرحوم الشيخ زايد
the was it was & the way it will be
not in the legal sense. its a message, a purpose, a task that must be fulfilled, almost a duty for the future generation. Sheikh zayed has many wasaya for his people, he gave a "waseyah" to the older generation to raise their children well, and to educate them. He gave a 'waseeyah' to the young people to work hard. he gave a " waseeyah" that no local person should ever pay rent to live in his own country. He gave a "waseeyah" that we should take care of all the things that has given our grandparents many blessings, such as farms, falconry, camels, horses, poetry and to constantly share what we know about our heritage and to always celebrate it.
to be aware, attentive, to look after, to protect, to cherish and take care of, and be loyal to what Allah has blessed us with. and what has been passed down to us from the previous generations...our culture and heritage. It all boils down to; respecting one's heritage and knowing where one comes from, because if you dont know where you've come from, how will you know where you are heading?
the wisdom that the previous generation has passed down to us. to learn from their experiences and to listen to their advise and to put it in use in order to create a better future. hakeem; also means a person who can how to judge fairly and make wise decisions. Some say hikmah to people, is like water for the earth.
one of Sheikh Zayid's Hikam was the unity of the Arab world. That if all the Arab countries were to unite, the Arab world would be the richest and most powerful.
Here is a Video, a teaser of what was going on in Tashkeel. More videos coming soon:
All photographs are taken by: Lateefa M