In February 2012 I came as a volunteer to Anafora, a coptic retreat center between Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt.
They asked me what my contribution would be and gave me some days to find out. Then I found the Ruin, the empty, strange building and I said I wanted to make an exhibition, and they said go!
Blogposts about the Exhibition
You can read more about the background and the work with the exhibition in these blog posts:
- Easter Exhibition in Egypt — How it all started.
- Beauty Everywhere — Start to work with my photos and to see.
- Printing Pictures in Cairo — Things works differently …
- First Picture in Place — We are putting up pictures and work with the place
- Everyone Together — Cleaning the area before the vernissage
- Vernissage Day at Anafora — Everyone was there!
- A New Circle — Changing the main hall
The work with the exhibition
Usually, when I make an exhibition, I do almost all the work myself. This time it was a huge collective move with so many people working together to make my ideas come alive. I’m thinking of those weeks along with all of you with great gratitude, thank you!
Seven Rooms – Seven Themes
The Ruin has six rooms and one yard, so I made seven different themes. Some of these themes have later turned into my main focus; others have faded away or changed a lot. Below are my thoughts at that time.
Ten photos I took during 30 minutes of a slow walk around the yard at Anafora. Beauty is everywhere; you only have to open your eyes.
The first room in the building is filled with strings with pearls. You can’t move through the room without getting touched.
This is my way to turn some lines from Ken Wilber into an experience. In the interview, Ken is talking about how the love from God is raining down on us a thunderstorm, how it’s drenching every corner of us always. How the force of love is the glue that holds our Universe together and that we can open our selves to it’s nurturing embrace.
We Love Anafora
Anafora is an amazing place
A community with a Big Heart and lovely inhabitans
A place that embraces and challenges me
A free oasis and a bootcamp in a strange mixture
A green place in the dessert
A quiet place by the highway
A modern place inside a traditional framework
Inside a postmodern experiment
The donkey pulls
The dogs bark
The cats are lazy
And the ducks escaped to the swimming pool
— for a while
Love of Nature
The pictures I showed at Anafora are a tribute to Swedish nature. I love it all year round, especially autumn and winter. There is no boring nature. No place not worth taking photos.
Big Heart of Humanity
The main hall in the building was filled with several hundred photos uploaded by readers of my blog. They were all printed and attached to the big hanging sculpture in the form of Big Heart of Humanity in the central room of the exhibition.
It was pictures of nature and landscapes making up the globe and pictures of humans making up the heart around the globe.
A New Level
A New Level are seven images made up of two photos each. It’s my way to illustrate the rise of the sea level due to climate change.
For me, this is one of the terrifying things with climate change. So many people and animals live along the seashores. So much of the food we grow comes from this land. And there are whole countries that may vanish.
It was fascinating to listen to the reactions of people when they saw my wall with pictures from the recycling centre in Höör, my little town in Sweden.
The Europeans reflected on how much we trough away, and the conversations were about consumption and if we really need all our stuff.
The Egyptians talked about how Egypt need to start to recycle and try to make it as efficient as in Sweden.
Recycling or reduce consumption.
The last room is about looking at our planet from the outside. See it in the big universal perspective.
Over the arches at three sides of the room, in all nine perspectives are written in both Arabic and English.
The inner perspective — here and now
- I am loved
- We are loved
- Everything is loved
The perspective when we look back in time
- I am thankful
- We are thankful
- Everything is thankful
The perspective when we look out into the future
- I am responsible
- We are responsible
- Everything is responsible
And the last perspective when we leave the exhibition