These past few months haven’t been the best for the Egyptian economy. Blow after blow struck the Egyptian Pound and now it is suffering the repercussions. Egyptians took to Social Media to voice their concerns and frustrations, an seeing so many disgruntled Egyptians inspired Mohamed Sherif El Dib, Creative Director at Monkeys in Tuxedos LLC, to do something. We spoke to him about his project #EjebshanBound, and he featured below some of the upcoming posts from his project for the very first time!
“with the fries, it shows you that money runs out quickly without you even noticing, while you’re just nibbling on it. It never fills you and it’s not nutritious”
He came up with a 30 day art project where he takes a long, hard, and very creative look at the Egyptian Pound. Instead of complaining, he decided to take a more creative road, “I didn’t want to be part of the people complaining about it, so I decided to make one picture at a time, showing people all my views without saying much”, he tells, “with the fries, it shows you that money runs out quickly without you even noticing, while you’re just nibbling on it. It never fills you and it’s not nutritious”. Without having to explain the concept of this one photograph in particular, the idea got through. And even if someone didn’t get it exactly like that, it bothers Mohamed none, “and if they understand it differently, it’s okay, because art is supposed to make you feel something, not necessarily understand it one specific way”, he explains.
Although the idea was triggered by the conversation about the deteriorating state of the Egyptian Pound, Mohamed’s fascination with it predates all of this, “I’ve always loved the Egyptian Pound, I have 30 or 40 of them, kept from my 3ideya as a child, they’re brand new”, he tells, “the picture of the cufflinks, I’ve actually made a while back when I had a wedding and I didn’t have cufflinks so I tied the Pound and made cufflinks out of it”. This kind of creativity is what Mohamed believes is the biggest part of his work, “I wouldn’t call it photography, it’s conceptual design”, he says.
“I’ve always loved the Egyptian Pound, I have 30 or 40 of them, kept from my 3ideya as a child”
At the end of the day, Mohamed believes the main goal out of art is to change perception, “our slogan for Monkeys in Tuxedos is ‘shake the world’ and this is what’s behind it all, to shake people’s perception of the world”, he tells, “we can’t change the world, but if we change the way people view the world, that would be all we need”.
Even though the idea garnered a lot of support, Mohamed has no illusions of grandeur in regards to his project, “it’s not going to help with the crisis, but back during the whole issue with the condoms, I saw my friends complaining about it on a Whatsapp group”, he tells, “if you want to express yourself by whining on Whatsapp, that’s not going to change anything, make a video, place a picture, write an article or a Facebook status, but whining is just passive”. It is clear as day that while Mohamed believes his 30 day project won’t help the crisis, he believes that expressing the way he feels about it creatively is a more proactive reaction, “at least this way people know not to whine. We’re all affected; it’s our economy, but at the end of the day when I make a certain form of expression it actually is doing something”, he explains, “then again, I don’t want to make it sound bigger than it is, it’s just a post on Instagram”.
“We’re all affected; it’s our economy, but at the end of the day when I make a certain form of expression it actually is doing something”
When it comes to projects, Mohamed’s mind works on overdrive and he tires easily of projects, “I do everything quickly and start on another project immediately. I want to finish this project and move on”, he tells. However, he does have plans for the project after the 30 days period is over, “I might start an exhibition, I haven’t thought much, but a lot can be done with this and I’m open to hear ideas”, he says.
Follow the hashtag #EjebshanBound to see the rest of the pictures in the project. And follow Mohamed’s Instagram @mohamedeldib for more of his creative projects!