I am Not a Commodity
(2016)
   
The project depicts a yearlong state, represented in a self-portrait series, and addresses the corresponding battle against commodification. During 2016, I have experienced a state of being emotionally taken for granted, and being used in my relationships in ways identical to a commodity: purchased, consumed, and later thrown away. This somewhat personalized narrative has extended to a national, economic process.
 
Egypt is going through an exceptional economic crisis, with the depreciations of the Egyptian pound resulting in the threefold increase in prices of goods, as well as gas and utility services. Whilst the household income has remained stable, we begin to see how unsustainable the situation has become. The fluctuating value of commodities in our economy has come to rule over the way we live our everyday lives, turning humans themselves into commodities of the market.
 
“I am Not a Commodity,” is a revolutionary statement, against emotional and material humiliation. In the photos, we see the human commodity, wrapped with straw inside a box: purchased, exposed and ready for consumption.
    
     
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NOURHAN MAAYOUF