Heavenly Actors

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Heavenly Actors

Three drawings, 80 x 142 cm, ink on paper, 2012

A series of drawings is homage to brave Arab male actors, who have acted in gay roles in the movies produced in Arab countries. Accepting the gay roles is not self-evident thing in Arab culture. For example, many actors refused to take Marwat Hamed's role in The Yocoubian Building "due to the sensitivity of it and fear of expected criticism". Additionally, long and fictive feature films dealing with homosexuality in realistic way without comic and stereotypical nuances are rare in Arab countries.

The drawings are based on the still shots taken from the following movies:
Bezzness (Nouri Bouzid, 1992, Tunis)
The Mercedes (Yousry Nasrallah, 1993, Egypt)
The Yocoubian Building (Marwan Hamed, 2006, Egypt)

Abdellatif Kechiche plays Roufa in Bezzness. Roufa is a gigolo who earns his living by selling his services for tourists - men and women. The movie represents sex-with-foreigners genre, where the protagonist has to re-evaluate his values and identity.

Magdi Kamel plays protagonist's homosexual brother Gamal in Mercedes. The movie is not a gay movie in its essential meaning, but a film that celebrates diversity in all aspects of life: political, religious, national and sexual.

Khaled El Sawy plays Hatim Rasheed in the Yocoubian Building. Hatim is an openly gay editor in chief of the newspaper. He provides for his lover and lover.s family until the lover ends in up identity crisis and kills Hatim.