The twins at the heart of comic culture in Cairo

Take a look at this gallery of illustrations created by Egyptian identical brothers who work under the name Twins Cartoon.

Before 2011, the comic culture in Egypt mostly consisted of copies of French and American comic books with the odd cartoon interpretation of a pyramid or pharaoh. However, in recent years the cartoon scene has been flourishing and at the forefront of comics in Cairo are identical twin brothers Haitham and Mohamed El-seht.

The two work under the pen name Twins Cartoon. We interviewed them for the first time in April 2015 and have been following their work ever since. They admit that they operate best as a team, and creating opportunities for collaborations is a big focus for them. Last year they told us about a project they had started called Kawkab el Rasameen (“Planet of Artists”), which provided a rare platform for Arabic artists to show their work. 

In August they published the first edition of a new comic magazine called Garage, on which they worked for nearly eight months with artists from Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Then in September 2015 they hosted the inaugural Cairo Comix week.

Their lively animations challenge stereotypes of everyday Egyptian life, using colour to create atmosphere, mood and sense of place. Here are some of their most recent illustrations. Look out for them in Cape Town this February: the boys will be speaking at Design Indaba Conference 2016.

Watch the Talk with Twins Cartoon

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