Inji Efflatoun’s life, which began in the spring of 1924, was marked with phases of colour, agony and rebellion that contributed to her groundbreaking artwork. Passing from a privileged upbringing to socialist activism, to fighting for women’s rights, and to surrealist artwork that relayed her dreams and fears, to compelling expressionist masterpieces painted in prison, to colourful depictions of workers, Efflatoun’s life and art were all about change — all about revolution.
Melancholy first entered Efflatoun’s life when she was enrolled at the strict Sacred Heart boarding school, a place that starkly contrasted with her free spirit and budding individuality. Raised in a world adorned with colour by a strong single mother who designed lavish dresses for ladies of the royal family and Egypt’s aristocracy, Efflatoun spoke French yet her heart yearned for a connection to her Egyptian heritage.
The feeling of alienation from her roots troubled Efflatoun,