Mahmoud Khaled’s multidisciplinary practice explores the areas between the personal and the political, with a special focus on male identity in the Arab world. In a world increasingly shaped and experienced through mediated and virtual exchanges, Khaled’s work examines the boundaries between what is hidden, disguised or staged. Khaled probes social relations, online communities, romantic love and desire. Do You Have Work Tomorrow? (2013) is a series of 32 screen shots of a staged iPhone conversation transformed into black and white photographs developed in a dark room. The work juxtaposes the physical and the virtual, the analogue and the digital in content and form – pitting these dualities that most characterise our experience of contemporary life. The conversation was staged using the gay male dating app Grindr. As it unfolds, it reveals political undertones, alluding to the backdrop of a city (Cairo) in political turmoil and state of surveillance. Both the exchange and the possibility of consummating (male) desire thus become statements in the exercise of personal and political freedom. The work also explores the specific language, vocabulary and grammar that arise from digital interactions of ephemeral desire. The dialogue reveals the expectations and expressive vocabulary of sexual identity construction/reconstruction during online chatting, while placing them within a socio-political context where being gay is still, for many, considered taboo. Finally, the work is a comment on the cross-overs between private and public life, the emancipatory potential of the digital and, finally, on the nature of virtual encounters that may or may not become real. MKMAEL Stories – an Image Passionate is an installation with books based on a reinterpretation of Egypt’s popular 1970s romance fiction pocket paperbacks “Abeer”. In this book, the artist blurs facts retrieved from the chat archive with fictionist narration to create a gay romance story written in the digital age.