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Dibou  [ Egypt, France ]

Biography

Foto Dibou_portrait_ C avant-verlag.JPG
© avant-verlag

Guest 2012.

Bibliography

Chronik einer verschwundenen Stadt
[Text u. Ill: Golo, Text u. Fotos: Dibou]
avant
Berlin, 2012
www.dibou.fr

Dibou was born in Paris in 1950 and worked in marketing for many years. She regularly travelled to Egypt during the 1990s, and was so fascinated by the land and its culture that she finally left Paris to settle there in 2000.

Together with her husband, the comic artist Golo, she wrote the autobiographical comic »Chroniques de la Nécropole« (2011; t: Chronicles of the City of the Dead). This book is about their life in the little Egyptian town Al-Qrnah, on the western banks of the Nile at the foot of the mountains of Thebes. Al-Qrnah is situated directly on an ancient burial ground, and in the early years of the 21st century the Egyptian government relocated the approximately 300 families living in Al-Qrnah to a newly-built village nearby. The residents of Al-Qrnah had been a thorn in the Egyptian authorities' side for decades, as they were their presence blocked the tourist-based exploitation of the burial grounds and, allegedly, their waste water was causing lasting damage to the archaeological remains. Al-Qrnah, as Dibou and Golo came to know it, no longer exists as a cultural microcosm. Their book »Chroniques de la Nécropole« is a monument to Al-Qrnah and the people who lived there. The theme of the two artists is the powerlessness of a small group in the face of arbitrary political decisions and economic blindness, which resulted in the expansion of mass tourism by the systematic and permanent destruction of an entire settlement. Uniquely, the book links the photographs which Dibou had taken of Al-Qrnah and its inhabitants and fuses them with Golo’s illustrations, serving as a constant reminder to the reader that »Chroniques de la Nécropole« is not just a fictional tale, but the artistic record of the real fates of real people. The relocation of Al-Qrnah involved the destruction of an unique town for the sake of a vast tourist paradise, yet to be built, and this is made shockingly clear in Dibou's photographs at the end of the book. But even though this is, at its heart, a story of loss, the reader still has the impression of why Dibou and Golo chose to abandon Europe and how they managed to find their own dream life in Egypt.

Since she finished working as a marketing specialist in Paris, Dibou has been creating clothing, jewellery and sculptures, which have been exhibited in various shows and galleries since the mid-1990s in Cairo and Paris. Dibou lives with her husband Golo in Al-Qrnah.

© internationales literaturfestival berlin

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