Farahzada El Shihy is a Cairo-based artist and designer whose work is inspired by Afrika; considering herself Pan-African meaning that she relates to Africa as a whole.
Farahzada’s work is influenced by the history of symbols and tribal motifs and their meanings around Africa; either engraved on walls, worn as masks, embroidered on textiles or even tattooed.
She was always inspired by tribal motifs and patterns, but her trip to Kenya in 2015 where she was exposed to beautiful people, colorful textiles and afrobeats music was a turning point in her life as an artist.
Farahzada studied Graphic Design at the American University in Cairo which also helped her a lot in discovering her own path as an experimental artist.
Her Thesis Project wherein she tackled the idea of identity and dug deeper into the history of Amazigh symbols and language had a huge impact on her. She came to realize how much we are all connected, consequently strengthening her sense of belonging to the continent.
In 2017, she started experimenting with one-line art and combining it with her pan-African influences, a fusion that saw Farahzada develop her own unique artistic voice that incorporates tribal patterns and symbols from all over Africa to create a sense of collective identity.
She expresses her art on paper, canvas, wood, textile, and block printing, as well as on walls, in the realm of digital art, and in her latest project, interactive installations.
She has been featured in What Women Want Magazine, Scoop Empire, and Daily News Egypt. In 2020, Adidas Originals started the Change is a Team Sport campaign in Egypt, which brought together in one photo session personalities including Disco Misr’s Shady, Mostafa, Ingie El Mor Nour Kbakebe, Miral Mahilian, Nourhan Emad, Nada Akram, and the talented artist, Farahzada.
Since then, she’s been happily entertaining her 63k followers by working on her unique craft: she’s been collaborating with the Egyptian Football Association and has managed to be recognized by the Egyptian State Ministry of Information as a New Media Ambassador.
Currently, you can find her at Cairo Flea Market, where you can shop for Wearable Art by Farahzada, which includes things like her framed art, painted tote bags, stickers.
If you are interested in being up to date with the activities of this talented queen, check our her Instagram page, here.