Film and discussion

With Bahia Shehab and Mark Nicholas
Moderated by Melanie Gibson

Film in English and Arabic with English subtitles
Discussion in English

Followed by a reception in the second-floor lobby


Nefertiti’s Daughters is a story of women, art, and revolution. Told by prominent Egyptian artists, this documentary witnesses the critical role revolutionary street art played during the Egyptian uprisings. Focused on the role of women artists in the struggle for social and political change, it spotlights how the iconic graffiti of Queen Nefertiti placed her on the front lines in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and freedom in Egypt today.

After the screening of the film, Bahia Shehab, one of the featured artists who is also A New Divan’s artist in residence, and director Mark Nickolas will be in discussion with Melanie Gibson. “I decided to capture that specific incident by painting the blue bra on the streets of Cairo to remind us of the shame that we felt as a society when that woman was humiliated,” Shehab says in Nefertiti’s Daughters. “When this video was seen and shared a lot, mass protests by women went to the streets. One of their chants was: ‘The girls of Egypt are a red line. This is where you stop. This has gone too far.’ They had all these creative and beautiful chants on the street, about the importance of women, about their role in society, about their role in the revolution. I was not the only one working on the blue bra—it captured the imagination of many artists. I just simplified it and sprayed it on the streets as a reminder.”

Everybody attending the film screening is welcome to meet Bahia Shehab, Mark Nickolas, and other participants at a reception among the video installations on the gallery of the second-floor lobby, celebrating the publication of At the Corner of a Dream: A Journey of Revolution and Resistance, which shows Shehab’s street art based on poetry by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Reception sponsored by Aga Khan University

“Shehab uses the past to shed new light on the present and inspires the next generation of academics and graphic designers.” —Prince Claus Fund, The Netherlands

Further reading

Bahia Shehab: At the Corner of a Dream