By Aleya Hamza

The fictional character of Superman embodies the idea of the quintessential hero. As a human endowed with the
powers of a god he always manages to save the world from evildoers. Basim Magdy’s ‘ Two Days to Apocalypse ‘ is
an animation that explores hidden assumptions and expectations implicit in constructions of heroism and empowerment
presented by mass media.
A sequence of unrelated misfortunes is depicted using rudimentary black and white animation. Throughout various
absurd scenarios Superman appears repeatedly in the background, flying in transit from one event to the next on his
way to what appears to be a worthier mission. This quest culminates when he finally confronts his eventual fate.
Magdy’s «Two Days to Apocalypse» depicts a fabricated world that has turned awry. In this nonsensical space, categories
of good, evil, right and wrong appear simplistic, and the value judgment imbedded in the rhetoric of mass
media is exposed. By using the language of animation conventionally associated with child entertainment, portrayals
of violence are both masked and neutralized, echoing the de-sensitizing effect of media repetition.

Aleya Hamza is an independent curator and writer based in Cairo.