Team behind ‘WAKING The GIANTS



Aya Tarek, Visual Artist
Image courtsey of Roland Juker, 2021

Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1989, Aya Tarek is a painter, street artist and illustrator with an exciting portfolio of diverse art projects, feature films and art collaborations that draws international acclaim in major cities, from Sao Paolo to Frankfurt.

Experimentation is at the forefront of Tarek's current artistic endeavors. Through the use of innovative mediums such as virtual reality and the discovery of fresh forms of studio painting, Tarek seeks to use her experience as an artist to revisit her roots in classical training and push herself in new, unexplored directions.

Tarek's work explores the different interchanges within modes of urban communication and the dynamics of a public space. Using a vibrant, comic-derived aesthetic, and often working through site-specific murals, Tarek aims to trigger a humorous sense of controversy while investigating different ideas pertaining to different public contexts.

Egypt is currently facing a peculiar form of “urbanization”, another form of unethical planning resulting in further decline in the area’s weather and living conditions. Whether in Cairo or Alexandria, trees and greenery are being cut down to make room for buildings, roads and cement structures of all kinds. Public spaces are slowly narrowing down to almost none, making it more difficult for people to go out.

The motivation behind this project for artist Aya Tarek stems from embitter to her increasing detachment from nature and her alarm at the disregard to the connection between climate change and the catastrophes recurring in her city, including the imminent fact that it is drowning. She feels it necessary to increase the public consciousness on the matter, since it does not seem like climate change is at the forefront of people’s concerns.

Therefore, for Tarek, this project significantly aims to make climate change part of public discourse. We hope to carry out the exhibition in public spaces in our second season to make the information more available and inclusive.

As for sound artist and musician, Simon Peterman, his work acts as a powerful platform to address pressing social and political issues. He believes the global challenge of climate change is probably the most urgent issue humankind currently faces. For Petermann, art has the unique ability to communicate with audiences on a profoundly emotional level, enabling people to connect with complex issues in ways that scientific predictions often struggle to achieve.

Image courtsey of Roland Juker, 2021


Simon Petermann is an exponent of the adventurous contemporary jazz music scene of Switzerland. As musical director of the Fischermanns Orchestra, as band leader of the international sextet MoonMot and a member of the trio Inside the Baxter Building, he focusses his work on dealing with contemporary forms of improvisation, researching live electronics and interdisciplinary music projects.

Simon Petermann, Musician & Sound Artist
Image courtsey of Roland Juker, 2021

He has been Producer of the radio programme Jazz am Sunntig on Radio RABE under the motto "Today's and yesterday's great jazz from Switzerland and abroad" since 2012.

He teaches at the Swiss Jazz School Bern and the Hochschule der Künste Bern and performs in concert with various formations all over Europe and beyond.

         “There are many ways to do this but for example you can have the temperature of every month for a decade and then you take the average of it and this gives you a note. We have data for 14 decades since 1880 and then you can see after the 1950s all the pitches and notes get higher and higher and higher.”


Ghalia Elsrakbi, Curator
Image courtsey of artist, 2022
Ghalia Elsrakbi (SYR-NL) is a design professional and researcher. She is an Associate Professor of Practice in Design at the Graphic Design program at the American University in Cairo. She is a co-founder of Foundland Collective, an art and design research practice based between Cairo and Amsterdam. Ghalia is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of Cairotronica, Electronic and New Media arts festival in Cairo.

Ghalia was a finalist for the Dutch Prix de Rome prize in 2015 and the Dutch Design Awards in 2016. She was awarded the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in 2016 for research at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington DC.

Ghalia has lectured and exhibited widely in Europe, the US, and the Middle East, including Centre Pompidou (FR), The Rotterdam International Film Festival(NL), ISPC (NYC), Ars Electronica, Linz (AT), IMPAKT Festival (NL), London Art Fair (UK), Fikra Design Biennial (UAE), Porto Design Biennial (PT), Amman Design week (JOR).

Ghalia curated and designed the exhibition space for WAKING The GIANTS’ first season at The Factory (Townhouse Gallery previously), Downtown, Cairo.

Amina Yahia is a visual artist and painter based in Cairo, Egypt. Her work  merges ideas of human interaction with folkloric and systematic influences on belief and behavior. Yahia is interested in topics such as socially-influenced behavior and the ritualistic–almost spiritual–aspect that is a result of its repetitiveness. Her large-scale paintings are rooted in post & neocolonial Egyptian society. The female identity is central to her practice, which she often depicts vis-à-vis portrayals of control systems and reflections of the self. Yahia’s figures, often life-sized, have an underlying satirical nature to them. Her narratives are habitually in search of dissecting the uncanny, banal, intimate, violent, and sensual of the body together with the remnants of cultural embeddedness within bodily movement and function.

Yahia received her BA from New York University and has shown her work at Tahrir Cultural Center AUC, Cairo, 2023; New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, 2022; Firetti Contemporary, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, 2022; 421, Abu Dhabi, 2021; Maisan15, Dubai, 2021.

Yahia’s role in WAKING The GIANTS is more expansive than often. She joined the team in the intitiation of the project’s second season and has been responsible for PR, project management, archiving & documentation, and website design & execution. 

Amina Yahia, Project Assistant
Image courtsey of Abdallah Sabry, 2023