Boghiguian and Tagore and the Relationship Between Egypt and India

_cu02 Gamal Nkrumah in al-Ahram:

Anna is a personal friend. She is fond of Anwar El-Sadat, and I am more inclined to consider Gamal Abdel-Nasser my hero. Yet, we are in total agreement that Egypt and India share much in common, and we are both captivated by the subcontinent and its plethora of cultures. Boghiguian, one of Egypt’s leading artists, is devoting her next exhibition to the memory of the years when Egypt and India laboured under the yoke of British rule. She is mad as hell when she thinks she has reason to be. She is fascinated by India, and by the greatest of the subcontinent’s artistic luminaries — Rabindranath Tagore, the “Myriad-Minded Man”.

Anna Boghiguian becomes foil to the primped-perfect vacuousness of Cairene life. Forgive me, from now on she is no longer Anna, she is Boghiguian. This is a time of composition.

Nobody can accuse Boghiguian of being too pusillanimous, or so it seems in her lighter moments. Her works are bold and bohemian. Most Egyptians are ambivalent at best about India, not so with Boghiguian. Tagore was the subject of a reality document. A certain amount of speculation surrounds Boghiguian’s work. There are bid rumours and whispers in these paintings. You can see clearly that the walls have ears.

Boghiguian, a Boadicea of the Cairene cultural scene, is not making squillions. Boghiguian’s paintings are the 21st century perspectives presented in 20th century costumes. The inspiration for her exhibition was a visit she paid to the Jorasanko district of north Calcutta where the Tagore family mansion is located, today it is a museum. Any visit to the Thakur Bari, the Tagore House, is an experience of immense ramifications. On canvas, she explored the relationship between Tagore and the celebrated Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi, between Egypt and India through the interactions between the two men.