Radix Media is proud to present We Are All Things, a prose poem by Elliott Colla, illustrated by Egyptian artist Ganzeer.
An ordinary room in Cairo. A man, now alone. An assemblage of household objects that aren’t so inanimate.
The objects we own bear witness to our secret lives. In We Are All Things, a quiet room becomes a noisy backdrop to heartbreak and other forces of sentience. Here, pillows bemoan lost touch, lamps flicker with the memory of darkness, and the stereo coos a forgotten melody. This illustrated prose poem marries the rhythmic melody of poetry with the fluidity of visual narrative and invites us to imagine the mystery of feeling and the longing nature of existence.
Equal parts Maurice-Ponty and Yahyā al-Tāhir ‘Abdallah, We Are All Things is the first collaboration between Elliott Golla and Ganzeer. The chapbook features an introduction with Molly Crabapple.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Ganzeer’s images bring to life an ordinary room in Cairo, where a man cries in bed. Then things in the room begin to speak. Elliott Colla’s poetic prose rekindles thoughts of a relationship that has ended. A poem in comics and words, We Are All Things is an extraordinary book that you can read, dream, and find your old love in.” — Ahmed Naji, writer and journalist
“A devotee once asked Sri Ramana Maharshi if plants had feelings. ‘So too the slabs you sit on,’ he replied, and in We Are All Things this is proven. Through the media of prose poetry and line drawing (in a glorious 2-color palette), Elliott Colla and Ganzeer make Dasein speak and sing and moan, and the non-pathetic disinterest of life’s furniture is revealed as the greater fallacy.” —David Larsen, Names of the Lion (Wave Books)
“A shadow of a woman leaves a man in a room, witnessing objects revealing their essences in solitude, before a window. Through its one-way glass, Ganzeer and Colla project their sedimented memories of Cairo, unseen except from within. A Goodnight Moon for adults who aren’t ready to sleep.” —Iman Mersal, How to Mend: Motherhood and Its Ghosts (MIT Press)
“We Are All Things is the perfect collaboration between an artist and a writer. Words and pictures combine to show us what cannot be seen and to tell us what must remain unspoken. A tiny room in a contemporary Arab city becomes the gateway to an infinite horizon. The universal experience of desire and loss. A small, but stunning, work of art.” —Seth Tobocman, author and artist of You Don’t Need to Fuck People Over to Survive
“Ganzeer and Colla push readers to think beyond existence to where secrets can be held by the objects in their lives.” —Manal Shakir, Arab News
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elliott Colla teaches Arabic literature at Georgetown University. His first book, Conflicted Antiquities: Egyptology, Egyptomania, Egyptian Modernity, explores the colonial roots of modern Egyptology and the ways modern Egyptians have viewed the Pharaonic past. His 2014 novel, Baghdad Central, has been adapted as a television series by Euston Films and Channel 4 (UK), coming soon to Hulu. His current academic projects focus on protest cultures in contemporary Egypt.
Find more of his work at elliottcolla.com.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ganzeer operates seamlessly between art, design, and storytelling, creating what he has coined Concept Pop. With over forty exhibitions to his name, Ganzeer’s work has been seen in a wide variety of art galleries, impromptu spaces, alleyways, and major museums around the world, such as The Brooklyn Museum in New York, The Palace of the Arts in Cairo, Greek State Museum in Thessaloniki, and more.
Images from Booklyn.org