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Aankondiging Foto tentoonstelling

Egypte en de revolutie


Datum: 9 t/m 30 November 2011

Locatie: Theater aan het Vrijthof, Vrijthof 47, Maastricht

Op uiteenlopende wijze tonen 3 fotografen een beeld van Egypte. Mohamed Ezz en Tamer Shahen laten documentair werk zien gemaakt tijdens de Tahrir revolutie van Januari 2011; een revolutie waaraan zij beiden ook hebben deelgenomen. Fotografe en samensteller van de tentoonstelling Ellen Geerlings geeft een beeld van Egypte vlak voor de revolutie. Haar foto’s zijn gemaakt in de straten van Cairo en op het platteland in het zuiden van Egypte en bestrijken een periode van 7 maanden (Juli 2010- Januari 2011). Met voornamelijk dagelijkse situaties en portretten als onderwerp zoomt zij in op alledaagse taferelen en zoekt daarmee menselijke intimiteit op. Deze ogenschijnlijke futiele voorvallen vormen een interessant contrast met de wereldnieuws halende Tahrir revolutie die vastgelegd is door de twee Egyptische fotografen.

De tentoonstelling is tot stand gekomen in samenwerking met Studium Generale Universiteit Maastricht en Theater aan het Vrijthof, en maakt o.a.  deel uit van het Global Culture Festival wat van 24 t/m 27 November in Maastricht plaatsvindt.

Informatie over de fotografen:

Mohamed Ezz Eldin, is een Egyptische fotograaf en ingenieur, geboren in Cairo, Egypte waar hij momenteel werkt. Hij behaalde een Bachelor graad aan de Faculteit van Techniek aan de Universiteit van Cairo in 2007. In 2003 begon hij zich op fotografie te concentreren. Zijn werk richt zich op verschillende aspecten van de Egyptische samenleving. Dit doet hij door mensen en situaties vast te leggen die hij in zijn dagelijks leven waarneemt. Zijn werk is niet beperkt tot fotografie alleen: hij heeft diverse workshops bijgewoond, met inbegrip van schilderen en video en interactieve kunst. Vanaf 2005 heeft hij verschillende  prijzen gewonnen voor zijn werk. Onlangs won hij de prijs van de jury van de delegatie van de Europese Unie (2008) en de ‘Gouden Prijs’ bij de Internationale Foto Competitie van de Emiraten (2009). Zijn website adres is: http://www.mohamedezz.com

Tamer Shahen (1977) is geboren in Cairo, Egypte. Hij studeerde aan de Faculteit van Fijne Kunsten van de Universiteit van Helwan in Egypte en behaalde daar zijn Bachelor graad Grafisch Ontwerpen. Hij is gespecialiseerd in Animatie en Illustratie en hij heeft onder anderen als animatieontwerper gewerkt voor de Egyptische Televisie. Tamer Shahen heeft deelgenomen aan talrijke groepstentoon- stellingen en solo tentoon- stellingen waaronder in het ‘Palace of Arts’ en ‘Town House Gallery’ in Cairo, Egypte. Zijn werk is ook in het buitenland tentoongesteld.

Ellen Geerlings (1974) is geboren in Eindhoven, Nederland. Momenteel is zij promovendus aan de Universiteit van Reading (UK). Ellen heeft als consultant voor de Landbouw en Voedsel Organisatie van de VN gewerkt en deed onderzoek op sociaaleconomisch en agrarisch vlak. Zij heeft o.a. in India, Bangladesh, Mexico, Turkije en Egypte gewoond en gewerkt. Tijdens haar reizen en werk is zij zich steeds meer op fotografie gaan richten. Ellen heeft fotografie met schrijven gecombineerd en produceert foto verslagen op haar persoonlijke blog. Enkele hiervan zijn gepubliceerd. Ellen is van mening dat het vastleggen van de verhalen van gewone mensen in woord en beeld een grotere impact kunnen hebben dan wetenschappelijke onderzoekrapporten die eerder anoniem en onpersoonlijk zijn en niet de persoonlijke verhalen en worstelingen weergeven van gewone mensen. Zij interviewde onlangs vuilnisophalers en vuilnisverwerkers in de krottenwijken van Caïro die door het preventief ruimen van hun varkens in verband met varkensgriep een grote financiële klap te verduren hebben gekregen. De foto’s die tijdens deze gesprekken werden genomen zijn vorig jaar tentoongesteld in een galerie in Caïro. Haar foto’s zijn o.a. gebruikt als illustraties voor verscheidene tijdschriften, boeken en andere publicaties.

Aankondiging op PhotoQ: http://www.photoq.nl/agenda/egypte-en-de-revolutie/

Announcement Photo exhibition

Egypt and the revolution

Date: 9th November – 30th November 2011

Location:  Theater aan het Vrijthof, Vrijthof 47, Maastricht, Netherlands

In this exhibition three photographers each present a distinct impression of Egypt. Mohamed Ezz and Tamer Shahen have documented the Tahrir revolution of January 2011; a revolution they were both actively part of. Photographer and coordinator of the exhibition Ellen Geerlings presents an image of Egypt shortly before the revolution. Her photo’s, taken over a 7-month period (July 2010-January 2011), were taken in the streets of Cairo as well as in the rural South of Egypt. By portraying ordinary people and daily situations she tries to capture human intimacy. These seemingly trivial events and people form an interesting contrast with the world news event of the Tahrir revolution captured by the two Egyptian photographers.  

The Exhibition will also be part of the Global Culture Festival in Maastricht which will take place from 24 – 27 November 2011.

Information about the photographers:

Mohamed Ezz Eldin, an Egyptian photographer and engineer, born in Cairo, Egypt where he currently works. He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University in 2007. In 2003 he started concentrating on photography. His work focuses on different aspects of Egyptian society by capturing people and situations occurring in his daily life. His work is not limited to photography alone: he has attended various workshops, including painting, video and interactive art. In 2005, he began participating in artistic events and exhibitions where he received many awards for his work. Most Recently he won the jury’s award from the delegation of the European Union (2008) and the Golden Award at the Emirates International Photography Competition (2009). His website can be visited at: http://www.mohamedezz.com

Tamer Shahen (1977) was born in Cairo, Egypt. He studied at the Faculty of  Fine Art at Helwan University and holds a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. He is specialized in Animation and Illustration and has worked as a animation designer for Egyptian Television among others. As a photographer Tamer Shahen has participated in numerous group as well as solo exhibitions in Egypt, among others in the Palace of Arts and Town house Gallery in Cairo but his work has also been exhibited abroad.

Ellen Geerlings (1974) was born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She’s currently finishing her Doctorate degree in Agriculture at the University of Reading (UK). She has worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in a wide range of countries where her job was to conduct research on socio-economic and development issues. She has combined photography with writing and produces photo-essays, some of which have been published. Ellen feels that presenting a personal and intimate story through words and images is far more touching than presenting scientific research reports that are rather anonymous and do not reflect the personal stories of ordinary people. She recently interviewed garbage collectors in the slums of Cairo affected by the culling of their pigs due to swine flu. Photos taken during these interviews and others have been exhibited at a gallery in Cairo last year. Her photos have been used as cover photos and illustrations for several journals, magazines, books and other publications. 

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On invitation of Saxion University Deventer in the Netherlands I’m organizing a photo exhibition on Egypt and the revolution that took place in January 2011. Photos of  two Egyptian photographers and myself will be shown in September and October this year. The exhibition will be part of a larger Studium Generale program with speeches and discussions about developments and changes now taking place in Egypt. Drs. Petra Stienen, author of ‘Dromen van een Arabische lente’ and Drs Hans Anker will present their views on the political situation and coming democratic elections in Egypt.

A short introduction to the participating photographers and a small sample of their work will be presented below and will be further updated in the coming weeks. The participating photographers are: Mohamed Ezz Eldin, Tamer Shanen and myself.

Mohamed Ezz Eldin, an Egyptian photographer and engineer, born in Cairo, Egypt where he currently works. He graduated from the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University in 2007. In 2003 he started concentrating on photography. His work focuses on different aspects of Egyptian society by capturing people and situations occurring in his daily life. His work is not limited to photography alone: he has attended various workshops, including painting, video and interactive art. In 2005, he began participating in artistic events and exhibitions where he received many awards for his work. Most Recently he won the jury’s award from the delegation of the European Union (2008) and the Golden Award at the Emirates International Photography Competition (2009). His website can be visited at: http://www.mohamedezz.com/

Photo by Mohamed Ezz

Photo by Mohamed Ezz

Photo by Mohamed Ezz

Tamer Shahen was born in Cairo in 1977. He studied at the Faculty of  Fine Art at Helwan University and holds a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. He is specialized in Animation and Illustration and has worked as a animation designer for Egyptian Television among others. As a photographer Tamer Shahen has participated in numerous group as well as solo exhibitions in Egypt, among others in the Palace of Arts and Town house Gallery in Cairo but his work has also been exhibited abroad.

Photo by Tamer Shahen

Photo by Tamer Shahen

Photo by Tamer Shahen

More information can be found here. The exhibition can be viewed from Monday till Thursday from 08.00h-22.00h and on Friday from 08.00h till 18.00h at Saxion Hogeschool Deventer, Handelskade 75, Deventer (a 5 minute walk from the railway station).
The exhibition will also be shown at ‘Theater aan het Vrijthof” (Vrijthof 47, Maastricht) in Maastricht from 9 November 2011 to 30 November 2011. The Exhibition will also be part of the Global Culture Festival in Maastricht which will take place from 24 – 27 November 2011.

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My friends are preparing a group artwork to honor the people that have died during the demonstrations in Egypt. Among those who have died was one of their friends; Ahmed Bassiouni, a video and sound artist, musician, assistant teacher at the faculty of arts education in Cairo and a father of two children. He was shot during the demonstrations on the 28th of January.

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Egypt, I don’t know where to start….I feel restless, can’t sleep and keep watching Al Jazeera, BBC world news, tweets about Egypt and everything that will give me news about Egypt.  I’m lucky as I returned back to the Netherlands just before chaos started. But I’m worried.  I left dear friends behind.

In the seven months that I spent in Egypt I got a sense of the dissatisfaction of people with the situation in Egypt and at the same time their fear of overly expressing their grievances. Poverty and high food prices were the main issues for people that I and my colleagues spoke to within the context of a study looking at the impact of bird flu and the rise of food prices on people’s livelihoods in Upper Egypt. Unemployment, lack of freedom of speech, financial insecurities are issues my personal friends had been struggling with.

A few of my friends, although lucky enough to have a job in the private or public sector, haven’t received their salary for months. Another does receive his salary; 140 Egyptian pounds per month but this salary, equivalent to about 17.50 euro, would not even be sufficient to buy a week’s basic food supplies, let alone other basic needs such as housing, electricity bills, clothes and transport. Another has big debts at several banks because he can’t find a job. The future doesn’t look particularly bright for people like them; people in their end 20s beginning 30s, who finished university or college and are eager to earn an income and maybe start a family. As a consequence these people accept any type of job, whether it is cleaning, serving tea or any other job far below their aspirations. No wonder these people become frustrated and disheartened. These protests give them an outlet for all the build up frustration and a sense of significance; of being part, and contributing to major changes in Egypt which are Insha’Allah for the best. I seriously think that most of these people are willing to stay put and fight if necessary regardless of the consequences for their safety. Egyptians are tremendously proud and fierce if tempted, this is something I learned quickly while in Egypt.

I’ve been able to communicate with my friends everyday for the past week, mainly through Skypecalls. They are all physically ok, although one of their friends has been arrested by the police for filming the demonstrations and haven’t heard from him so far. Some of my friends have been part of the demonstrations but most are now at home where they feel prisoners in their own house. Some of them have joined neighbourhood watch teams as armed gangs of idiots are abusing the current situation of lawlessness and chaos by robbing ordinary peoples’ homes and shops. Many are anxious and the situation seems to be worsening for them. Telephone cards are no longer sold so there is no way of communicating with the outside world and they are running out of cash to buy food as ATM machines are not operational and transportation is coming to a halt (no petrol is available and trains are no longer running).

I just received a message from one of them:

Dear Ellen i am OK
Don’t worry about us we are out calling for our freedom and we will not rest till we get it.
it is not easy but also we are not weak thousands of us has moved if not millions we will rest after we through [throw] moubarak away wish us luck and pray for us

I am proud, worried, excited and sad all at the same time but what can I do but pray and wish them luck…?

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Life works in funny ways; in an attempt to track down the artist about whom I wrote in  ‘Bread, art and politics’ I ended up with my own photography exhibition opening next wednesday 28th July at El Balad Gallery for contemporary and visual arts here in Cairo.

I’ve always been fascinated by photography and its power to convey a story by just one single image. Photos are capable of touching the viewer profoundly and some of my favourite photographers who have mastered this ability are Elliot Erwitt, Eve Arnold and Henri Cartier Bresson. The main themes of my photos revolve around farming and livestock. This specific interest was developed through my work with farmers and livestock keepers either as part of my vocational training or as a researcher and consultant for NGOs, donor agencies, research institutes and UN organizations. The human-animal relationship has been a long time interest to me. In many cultures animals have multiple functions and their importance goes far beyond that of providing its owner with income. My studies and work have often focussed on human-animal interactions and the value of animals in contributing towards people’s socio-economic and cultural well-being. This human-animal interaction is something I’ve been trying to capture through photography. More recently I’ve been experimenting with high speed photography and HDR (high dynamic range) photography and I’ve also taken an interest in photographing old abandoned buildings; I find it a challenge to capture the timeless and eerie atmosphere present in these buildings.

The title of the exhibition refers both to the masterpiece of the exhibition – a monochrome panoramic view of the city of Rome – but also to the meaning of panorama in the sense of giving an overview. This exhibition presents a diverse selection of some of my favourite photos.

The oldest photo presented here is from 1996 and was taken on El Clarin, a  farm in Martinez de laTorre in Veracruz, Mexico; I was a trainee at this farm for 7 months.

There will be several photos of Raika pastoralists. The Raika are one of the largest groups of livestock herders inhabiting the western districts of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India, including the great Thar Desert. The Raika have developed their own system of animal healthcare making use of plant, animal and mineral based remedies, conventional drugs and traditional healers. I spent 8 months in Rajasthan studying the traditional animal healthcare system of the Raika.

The exhibition also shows several photos taken in Cambodia; I worked here in 2008 as a consultant for FAO studying the socio-economic impact of bird flu. The selection of photos from Cambodia both include more touristy type of scenes as well as photos taken during my work with farmers.

Other countries represented in this exhibition include Bangladesh, Cameroon, Greece and Egypt. The two landscape photos were taken in 2008 on a holiday in Norway.

The latest photo was taken in July 2010 at Mokattam mountain, Manshiyet Nasser on the outskirts of Cairo; an area referred to as the largest ‘garbage city’ in the world. Here the Zabaleen (garbage collectors) make a living out of collecting, sorting and recycling garbage.

A monochrome panorama photo shows a view of the city of Rome; a city I lived in for about 3 years and which served as the base from which I would be sent out to some of the different countries represented in this exhibition.

An announcement was made in Bikyamasr; an Egyptian and regional independent news site ttp://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=14920

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