Efflatoun, Inji (1924–1989) By Radwan, Nadia
Inji Efflatoun was an Egyptian painter, feminist, and political activist. She completed her secondary education at the Lycée Français in Cairo where she was introduced to Marxism. At the beginning of the 1940s, she was one of the first women to attend the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University, where she joined the Egyptian communist organization (Iskra). During that time, she studied under the painter and filmmaker Kamel el-Tilmisani, and exhibited with the Egyptian Surrealist Group “Art and Liberty” (1942–1943). She later studied in the studio of the Swiss artist Margo Veillon, and with the painter Hamed Abdalla. In 1959, her political activities resulted in her being arrested. She was imprisoned for four and a half years and painted throughout her incarceration until she was released in 1963. Efflatoun’s paintings are strongly inspired by the social reality of the Egyptian working class, with a special focus on women and their daily struggle.