The Day of Egression - يوم الخروج
Although the arabic-speaking world is recognized for its glorious folklore, rich with religious mythologies and mysticism, we rarely see any modern interpretations that fall far from the one hollywood (and the orientalist painters before them) had popularized; this was the only premise we had in mind while starting The Day of Egression, that we don't want to fall into the orientalist trap.
We started out with two simple narratives; a national holiday revolving around an annual whale appearance, and the old tired trope of a treasure-hunter finally seizing the old-forgotten treasures, to which he devoted his life. There’s no direct connection between this fictional universe and the real world in terms of references to real events, physics or logic at all; in Baghdad, the Al-Shaheed monument is a sealed dome that was just cracked and emptied by The One Thief gang; in Algiers, Al-Khidr’s whale is a national totem that resurfaces every year giving the city folks a reason to rejoice.
Of course while in the process of building this miniature fictional world, we found ourselves making up background stories for the places and characters populating it, it was like pieces of a puzzle falling into place, and it was all automatic, we only had to make sure it was still consistent and aesthetically-composed.
In terms of aesthetics, the choice of having 3D/polygonal-ish visuals stemmed from the aforementioned premise -of changing the context the arabic folklore was always trapped in-, which turned the setting into a melting pot of historical, modern and futuristic elements, we borrowed the lack of scale from the islamic miniatures, the modern real-world architecture of Algiers and Baghdad, and a technological interpretation of mysticism.
The One Thief Gang & The Whale
Daily newspaper and universe guide.