Amsterdam Noord is a city of bicycles, but I spend most of my time here walking. I walk to get to know the city, and as I walk I collect the traces of the lives that are going on around me… The traces of memories, of conversations, of relationships. I collect the detritus on the streets for the same reason that I observe people’s conversations, and ask them questions about their lives: to collect and preserve the memories of a place that I don’t belong to.
Art is for Girls
I was out collecting objects from the street when a group of Turkish kids asked me in English what I was doing. I explained that I was an artist and that this was for an art project. As I tried to...
There’s a garden underneath my apartment balcony where kids play all day long. Their shrieks, cries and laughter can be pleasant enough in small doses, but after a while it grates on the nerves.
This one’s on me
I met up with an artist here in the neighborhood who had previously done a residency at Townhouse, my gallery back in Cairo. We decided to go out for a beer, and were practicing his (rather limited...
Talking in Arabic
I often meet people from “my part of the world” here in Amsterdam Noord. But we don’t always have a lot in common.
One of the artists here, Ahmed, is also from Egypt, and one day he invited me to walk with him to a nearby park. I love this park and come here often; it is huge, quiet, and I can collect plenty of...
Biking and the Kindness of Strangers
I am not a habitual bike rider, but as I said before, Amsterdam is the city of bikes, and we were all provided with one by Mediamatic. In addition to my daily walks, I decided to give bike riding a...
Crossing the Water
I flew into Amsterdam from Noord Copenhagen in the middle of the night on July 3rd. Someone from Mediamatic picked me up from the train station and took me to the flat where I'd be staying. Amsterdam...
The Bike Thief
I was out at night, spray-painting my graffiti work in my neighborhood. It was about 3 am and I was dressed all in black so as not to draw attention to myself, when all of a sudden a huge man came...
Little Dog, Big Bite
I was walking, stoned, through my favorite park when a little Chihuahua dog started to chase me. It chased me, snarling and yapping, for a couple of blocks as I tried valiantly to resist the urge to...
After a few days in Amsterdam, I was on one of my daily walks when I came across my friend and colleague from Cairo, Osama, who was out on his bike taking pictures of the city. We decided to stop for...
I don’t watch football, and this includes the World Cup. On the night of the finals, I heard a huge ruckus in front of the apartment—screaming, fireworks, cheers, music. Great, I thought, the...