art of resistance, Egypt, travel

Egypt, a Love Story.

Denis Dailleux is a French photographer who has spent last two decades photographing Egypt (Cairo mostly). Fascinated by the city and the spontaneus kindness of its people, Dailleux keeps on discovering new stories and capturing new faces. I already presented a lot of his work – From Mistress of Cairo to Martyrs of the Revolution, Sudan series, and Mother and Son.

I recently read Naguib Mahfouz’s The Coffeehouse (his last novel), a lovely little novel about friendship, life’s little pleasures (like the coffeehouse Qushtumur) , memory and loss.  Translator Raymond Stock notes that the novel is: “Fittingly final, as it is really a work of literary nostalgia“. Somehow, the novel brought the same feeling I have when I go through Dailleux’s photos of Egypt. As Mahfouz writes:

“Qushtumur the coffeehouse saw us take leave of our youth and our first steps into manhood. We spent our lives between work, culture, and evening conversation.”

So, I went through Dailleux’s photos again. The following ones are a mixture from his series Egypt, my Love, On the roofs of Cairo, Cairo (book selection), and On the footsteps of Oum Kalthoum, photos taken over a twenty year span (from 1992 to 2013). These photos are a testimony of love, love of life and human beings, universal love, beautifully captured in time and space.

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//all images © Denis Dailleux/Agence VU//

For more on Dailleux and his photography – viist his Agence VU profile, and his official website.

 

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art of resistance, Sudan, travel

Sudan: The Sun & The People.

The work of Denis Dailleux keeps on inspiring me. From his great Egyptian photo series Mother and Son and Martyrs of Revolutionto his beautiful stories from Ghana and On the footsteps of Rimabaud (Ethiopia & Yemen). What makes it so enchanting and so real at the same time, is his way of capturing people – no matter how beautiful the scenery is, with Dailleux it’s always about the people.

Ten years ago, in his photo series from Sudan (Agence VU), Dailleux presents “a country marked by the sun and the languidness. As usual, the photographer achieves his photograph with people. And then, they accept to show their lives without any fireworks.”

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//all images © Denis Dailleux/ Agence VU//

For more on this project, go to Agence VU, and for more on Dailleux and his photography – viist his Agence VU profile, and his official website.

And now – go through the photos again and listen to this great tune by the musical legends of the Sahara desert – Tinariwen.

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art of resistance, Egypt, travel

Cairo’s Souq El Gomma: A City within a City.

Jason Larkin is a photographer whose work I already introduced writing about Cairo Divided – The Escape of the Elites. He has done a lot of projects in Egypt, Cairo particularly, but each one of them seems so fresh and inspiring. His work never feels worn-out, it never screams been there – done that. There’s always a buzz of excitement and discovery  which just goes to show how Cairo is a true city of stories, a city of diversity, and a well of inspiration. And Larkin is great at capturing that.

Larkin’s project, Souq El Gomma, captures Middle East’s largest informal market gathering.

Artist statement:

” ‘A city within a city, built in the morning light, and which disappears with the last of the day. An infinite and intertwining network of commerce colliding for just a few hours a week.’

Invisible City, Italo Calvino

This story is an exploration of the myriad people, objects and spaces that make up Cairo’s Souq El-Gomma, the Middle East’s largest informal market gathering. Every Friday this trading metropolis materialises, with no formal direction or control, no one idea and ultimately no boundaries, it encompasses the aperture between the living city and the city of the dead. Colonised by the economically marginalised the trade is in the detritus of the city, here Cairo’s flotsam and jetsam is sorted, salvaged and sold on. This organic and dynamic entity offers up a window into the lives of other people and more fundamentally a window into the life of the city itself.

Commissioned by The National M Magazine. Published in Sowar Magazine, Ojopedez.”

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/all images © Jason Larkin/

For more of Larkin’s great photography, visit his official website.

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art of resistance, travel, Turkey

Ara Güler’s Anatolia.

It is not a secret that I am a big fan of Ara Güler’s photography. I already wrote about him and his wonderful black & white photos of Istanbul. Here are some of Güler’s photos from  Anatolia, less famous but equally wonderful.

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/all photos © Ara Güler/

For Güler’s photographs of archaeological and historical sites in Anatolia, go to Flickr (Güler often said he feels those photos are his greatest contribution to human history).

For more on the photos featured in this post and more on Ara Güler, go to his official website.

 

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art of resistance, Lebanon, Syria, travel, Turkey

Beyond Borders – from Vienna to Beirut.

Frederic Lezmi: Beyond Borders (from Vienna to Beirut)

Artist statement:

I have been searching for the “in between” – whatever lies geographically as well as culturally between my world here in the midst of Europe and my long term focus of interest in the Middle and Near East. Being half Lebanese myself, I have been studying cultural interfaces within the distant Arabic World.

From August to December 2008 I traveled between Vienna and Beirut. I encountered people in versatile worlds, inside or in front of architectural places, both real and artificial, public and private. In my photographs, people emerge either as just passers-by or while waiting, as subjects and objects of the viewer’s eye, moving about in their urban or rural environment. These are distanced views in which locals and tourists are on similar paths, randomly congregating and forming elusive compositions. These pictures represent neither precise documents nor do they create artistic worlds. They are constructions of multicolored, fragmented impressions, like looking through a kaleidoscope.

I often show architectural monuments, including the social life taking place within, in various superimposed layers and conditions. Through reflections and fragmentation within the images, the viewer’s eye is being multiplied, inverted and divided in order to call into question the perception of cultural differences and their importance for the “present” and the “past” of our society.

My pictures reveal an ambivalent point of view beyond current clichés of architectural monuments and existing borderlines. In my photographs, the Orient and the Occident overlay each other, and are further changed by ever-growing globalism. Photography in this case serves as a visual hinge and an interface between these multi-faceted worlds where the space between East and West is either expanded or reduced.

0889f5f39505d2261dbae8fb802d2022-largeZagreb, Croatia

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4ef885d8b1f5680c776e6559b3992804-largeBeirut, Lebanon

/all photos © Frederic Lezmi/

For more on Lezmi and his projects, visit his official website.

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Afghanistan, art of resistance, travel

A whole new (look at) Afghanistan.

Riverboom Ltd is a society founded by war reporters upon a moonless night in the North-West of Afghanistan, in an infamous valley infested by wolfs, bandits and runaway Taliban. This is the valley where the river Boom flows. Ever since Riverboom has been operating for world peace from its headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, on the shores of the placid lake Leman.

The Riverbooms are photographers, film directors, graphic artists, journalists and writers. Riverboom publishes (among other things) a series of illustrated books in the collection Baechtold’s Best. These are guidebooks entirely made of images for uncommon destinations like the North Pole, Afghanistan or Louvreland.

As they say:

The world revealed in series: ten options, one best. Images replace detailed descriptions and long-winded local histories.
It will arouse the curiosity of intrepid explorers and provide them with a whole new travel experience.

Here are some of the photos from their Baechtold’s Best – Afghanistan series.

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BB_AF_WEB_28all images © Riverboom

For more on this project and other works by Riverboom, visit their official website.

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art of resistance, Syria, travel, Turkey

From Croatia to Syria (on a bicycle).

Three years ago, my friend Siniša Glogoški, photographer, traveler, a wanderer of the world, took his bike and rode it from Croatia to Syria (more than 4000 kilometers).

It was a journey of revelation – revelation of the unknown, of the beauty of the landscape, faces of the people, and everything that’s moving and vibrating around him, and – very important – it was a revelation of what’s inside, of the inner strength, of the will to continue (it was a hot summer, and being on a bike for a looong time can get exhausting).

Siniša did it. He moved his boundaries, went beyond. His stories about the journey are full of desert stars at night, children running, tranquility of morning silence… He brought it with him, and it seems so bittersweet remembering it now, when Syria faces such harsh times.

Be sure to watch his video, embark on a journey with him for five minutes.

And here are some of the photos.

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1962725_617223848332134_300289296_nall photos © Siniša Glogoški

For more of Siniša’s adventures and inspiring stories, visit his facebook page.

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