Jason Stoneking started this initiative with the intention to beautify Cairo’s skyline. And it’s such an effortlessly brilliant idea, that we couldn’t contain our excitement! The possibilities with a project like that are endless, and the best part about it is that pretty much anyone can do it.
Jason and his girlfriend are here as artists in residence at Artellewa, an art space located in Ard El Lewa. They were both invited for a residency program and will be staying in Egypt for 3 months, making art projects designed especially for Egypt.
This is Jason’s first project. It started out when he and an Egyptian artist friend of his were looking at Cairo’s rooftops and Jason commented on all the satellite dishes. His friend thought they looked depressing and Jason said “why don’t we do something about it?”
It was then that they began painting satellite dishes. They made a video and a Facebook page, which gained 4 thousand likes within a week! Of course, they don’t always paint all the dishes themselves, “while I’m here in Cairo, I’d like to try to paint several rooftops especially in Ard El Lewa because it doesn’t have a lot of resources, but we’re hoping that eventually people would start doing their own dishes and sending photos. We want the initiative would grow”, Jason says.
The initiative isn’t only done to beautify Egypt’s skyline, but to let people express themselves, “one of the things that interest me about this initiative is that it costs so little to get that much paint. That’s why anyone would be able to display their individuality through their painting”, Jason explains.
We couldn’t agree more. We all need a little more art in our lives. Apparently, everyone else is on the same page as us. Jason’s initiative was very positively received in Egypt, “when we were painting on our roof the kids leaned out of the windows and clapped to us. Now we’re talking to other buildings so we can paint their roofs. It takes time to get everyone’s approval, but a lot of people got in touch with us to paint their roofs”, he continues, “and we’ve had other people from Cairo send in their pictures of them doing their dishes. I also got a message from someone from Rooftops Egypt wanting to do a collaboration. So we’ve been getting lots of interaction and attention”.
Finally, Jason touched upon one of the most important parts of this initiative to him, “I think it’s important that it’s not just me, a foreigner, who does this. I think it should be something that Egyptians can do for themselves”, he concludes.
This initiative is definitely a new favorite of ours. Not only is it beautiful, but it is easily accessible as well. Egypt could use a little more color! As a matter of fact, we’ll go paint our own dishes right now.