Page 38 - CyprusToday_2012_October-December

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Editorial Note: The following article was com-
piled from text on the project and the film pro-
vided by the artist.
he screening of the short film
Homo Bulla:
18 days
was part of a series of presentations
under the subtitle “Evolution of a Revolution” of
the two-day event “The Arab Spring: The Egyp-
tian Experience,” organised by the European
Parliament Office in Cyprus and the Jean Mon-
net Chair of the University of Nicosia. The event
was held at the ARTos Foundation on 7 and 8
December. Other presentations included photo-
graphs of work byAmmar Abo Bakr, a proactive
Egyptian street artist, muralist and lecturer at the
University of Luxor’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and
of work by Aida Eltorie, curator of Egypt’s pa-
vilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Leila Saad
(USA/Egypt), actor, director, producer, and pro-
fessor of theatre was invited by the Ministry of
Education and Culture to introduce and present
the concept behind the production of the film.
Homo Bulla: 18 days
is based on the ancient
Homo Bulla
, or ‘man as a bubble,’ a
concept illustrating the transience of life, which
has linked both writers and artists throughout
the centuries. In the words of the 2
writer Loukianos of Samosata, the human race
and the whole of life are like the bursting of
bubbles in water: ‘All men are bubbles, great
or small, inflated with the breath of life...but all
must inevitably burst.’
It was from this symbol of life’s fragility, the bub-
ble as visual allegory, that Cypriot artist Melina
Nicolaides drew her inspiration for
Homo Bulla:
18 days
, a film that traces the stages of the Egyp-
tian revolution of January 2011. Funded by the
Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education
and Culture within the framework of the Cul-
tural Exchange Program between Cyprus and
Egypt, the film’s five interwoven sections are a
metaphoric interpretation of the momentous and
historical 18-day story of Egypt, a story that con-
cluded with uncertainty, as a difficult road lies
ahead for this new democracy.
The project was an undertaking that began with
the artist’s desire to produce a project in col-
laboration with Egypt. Born in Washington, DC
and raised in Asia and Europe, Melina Nico-
laides’s interest in art production in the Mid-
dle East and in Egypt goes all the way back to
her university studies at Princeton, where she
presented a thesis on a 19
century vision of
the Orient in Verdi’s opera,
, a visual and
musical interpretation of Ancient Egypt by a
westerner. Because of her interest in Egypt and
her studies in Egyptology, Melina as an art pro-
ducer sought to learn about the contemporary
art scene in Cairo. After exhibiting at the Cairo
Biennale 2001 she became more involved and
interested in the city’s art scene, and she began
visiting and exhibiting in Cairo and Alexandria.
She found many friends, mainly artists, who a
decade after her first visit to Egypt were some
of the protesters demonstrating and painting
The short film “HOMO BULLA: 18 days”
by Melina Nicolaides
Presented for the first time in Cyprus at the ARTos Foundation
Two-day event “The Arab Spring: The Egyptian Experience”