Artist Lorna Buchanan addresses the plight of Egypt’s minorities

As you might be aware, Egypt is in turmoil right about now and has been for a while. Elections have been postponed due to allegations of bias, and things are not looking great for women, minorities, and peace in general.

Often, when a news story has been around for a while it fades into the background somewhat, because it isn’t exciting enough for the editor or because we feel we have already heard that one before. Perhaps it’s because words can only bring us so close to someone else’s experience.

These drawings are by artist Lorna Buchanan who I had the pleasure of working with not long ago. They are inspired by true accounts of arbitrary imprisonment, torture and terrorism faced by the Coptic Christian minority. Egypt should be a place where everyone has a voice.

The Man was kept in an underground cage which had iron bars over it.  Every few hours members of the police would come and pour ice cold water on him and urinate on him from above.  He was deprived of food and sleep, and  forced to stand for four days.

The Man was kept in an underground cage
which had iron bars over it.
Every few hours members of the police would come and pour ice cold water on him and urinate on him from above.
He was deprived of food and sleep, and
forced to stand for four days.

A woman was beaten for 30 minutes during interrogation.They broke her bones when she said she did not know the location of another convert to Christianity.

A woman was beaten for 30 minutes during interrogation.
They broke her bones when she said she did not know the location of another convert to Christianity.

01.01.2011Bombing at Al Quidssan Church, Alexandria. 70 injured. 23 dead.

01.01.2011
Bombing at Al Quidssan Church, Alexandria.
70 injured.
23 dead.

The verse in the final image reads:

You have heard love your neighbour and hate your enemy.
But I tell you, love your enemies!
Pray for those who persecute you!
Then you will become children of your father in heaven.
Matthew 5:43

Buchanan works a lot with ephemeral media, such as the chalk used for these drawings and flour. Her work often addresses transience and memory. If you are interested in displaying these pieces (they are 1.5 x 2.5 metres just so you know!) then pop me an email and I’ll put you in touch.

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