Past

Raya and Sakina

Habby Khalil

1 September, 2018 - 18 September, 2018

 

 

 

 

Raya and Sakina are the perpetrators of one of the most heinous murders in modern Egyptian history. The sisters fled Upper Egypt to settle in a slum in the coastal city of Alexandria. They then turned into criminals by murdering women to steal their jewellery, attracting the victims to their homes with the false promise of getting goods at cheaper prices. Reaching the house, victims were drugged, choked, and then buried under the tiles of the house. After committing more than 17 crimes, both sisters were arrested and sentenced to death in 1921, which was the first death sentence in modern Egyptian law issued against women. 
Contrary to many approaches before—dealing with the crime itself—the artist explores the execution process and her sister’s different reactions: “The Silent” Raya versus the boasted bravery of Sakina, thus exploring the possibility of multiple convictions leading to the same act. 
The artist explores the story in black and white, symbolising the eternal conflict and interdependence between different beliefs. The space surrounding the characters reflects their spiritual sanctuary and their inner isolation, which fostered a monochromatic state of interaction between the subjects and their surroundings. In using seduction, the oldest weapon of the female, to catch their victims, they stripped those victims of the characteristic of femininity, leaving us in a grey area. The use of clothing creates a symbolic connection to the connected fate of the two sisters, while visual symmetry invites the viewer to focus on the difference between them.
Trust, doubt, belief, the relationship between justification and action, and which one precedes the other Habby is trying to re-identify the indefinability of an old story that today becomes a part of modern Egyptian folktale.

About the Artist

Habby Khalil was Born in 1979, Khalil currently works and lives in Cairo, Egypt. He is a self-taught visual artist, working primarily in photography, film, and video. He utilizes historical and cultural subjects as a visual language to address socio-political issues. In his most recent project, `Raya and Sakina’, Khalil has taken inspiration from a notorious criminal case in recent Egyptian history to explore the conflict between traditional ideologies and modern liberalism. The title “Raya and Sakina” refers to two sisters who committed a series of heinous murders against women to steal their jewelry. In his ongoing project, ‘Alienation’, He has depicted five of the most famous and effective deities of ancient Egyptian mythology in the flesh as they were historically described but within a different temporal and spatial frame. This work raises questions about our beliefs and how we interpret and practice them and the meaning and purpose of our existence.

He has been working in the creative field since 2000, he started the early years of his career working as a 3D artist and in 2006 he decided to change to photography since then he has built a rich commercial portfolio with many International agencies and brands. He has won several international awards for his distinguished achievement in the advertising domain, such as 2 gold and 2 silver medals in The Prix de la Photographie Paris in 2016, and 3rd place prize in Moscow International Foto Awards in 2015, alongside numerous honorable mentions, and his movie “In A Day” has received a Special Mention Award in the 37th Cairo International Film Festival in 2015.

Artworks

Artwork Title

Photography

70 x 70 CM

27.6 x 27.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

60 x 75 CM

23.6 x 29.5 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

70 x 70 CM

27.6 x 27.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

70 x 70 CM

27.6 x 27.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

64.5 x 50 CM

25.4 x 19.7 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

84.5 x 60 CM

33.3 x 23.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

84.5 x 60 CM

33.3 x 23.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

100 x 126 CM

39.4 x 49.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

166.5 x 88 CM

65.6 x 34.6 Inch

Artwork Title

Photography

160 x 80 CM

63 x 31.5 Inch

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