Today, on what would have been her 95th birthday, Google Doodle pays tribute to Egyptian Painter and women’s rights activist Inji Aflatoun.
The illustration depicts the Arab artist in front of her canvas alongside noteworthy works in her signature surrealist painting style behind her.
Who was Inji Aflatoun? Born in 1924, to a wealthy, Muslim family who lived in Cairo’s French-speaking aristocracy, Inji Aflatoun (sometimes written as Efflatoun) began painting at school before making it her professional career and showcasing individual exhibits in Cairo, Alexandria, the Venice Biennale in 1952 and the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1956.
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A pioneer of modern Egyptian art, Inji #Efflatoun was known as a feminist and a political activist as well as an artist. Experimenting form and colour throughout her long career, her inspirations included artists from Max #Ernst to Henri #Matisse. This vibrant 1968 depiction of Feloukas – a traditional wooden #sailing #boat – on the #Nile will be offered at #auction on 30 April as part of our 20th Century Art / Middle East sale in #London. #SothebysMiddleEast #InjiEfflatoun #EgyptianArt #ModernArt #Felouka
She was later imprisoned by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s government, and produced some of her most profound work from inside jail after her friends and family smuggled crayons and paper in for her. One of the works she produced while there, it is now on semi-permanent display in Sharjah until approx. 2023.
Aflatoun was also a feminist, and in the early 1940s she joined the communist movement, Iskra, and in 1945 she represented a Cairo group of women at the first conference of the Women's International Democratic Federation in Paris.
Aflatoun died on April 17, 1989, just one day after her 65th birthday.