CAIRO: Organized around the African connection to Egypt and designed to dispel some of the misconceptions regarding it, the Yes, Egypt is an African Country, photo exhibition at the Sony and Media galleries of the American University in Cairo (AUC) uses approximately 75 expressive photos to convey its message.
The aim of this exhibition is to show the African roots that Egypt has. When people think of Egypt, they place it geographically in the wrong spot. Many times I have heard people telling me that Egypt is next to India, next to China; everywhere but Africa, Robert Jones, the organizer of the exhibition and a photography professor at AUC, tells The Daily Star Egypt.
Jones believes that the strength of the photos will have a lasting impact on the audience, helping them to realize that Egypt is in fact an African country and not simply an isolated country separated from the continent.
It is important because the connection is not often made between Egypt and Africa. Egypt is an African country and I think that the power of the visuals will make that point clear to the attendees, says Jones.
Along with Jones, approximately 13 students have contributed to the exhibition, displaying impressive images that emphasize the African origins of Egypt.
There was quite a rigorous selection process for the photos and we were very selective in picking the photos displayed … Students submitted their work as a part of my class and some were working in the exhibit. They had to exhibit some good, ecstatic qualities as well as the technical ones, says Jones.
Dana El Farra, a student contributor, says she took 12 of the photos displayed in the exhibition. Most of the pictures were taken in places that represent Egyptian culture, such as Khan El Khalili, El Hakem B amr Allah Mosque and places near El Fayoum governorate and in downtown Cairo.
Robert Jones had a look at my portfolio and selected the photos that show the heritage of Egypt, says El Farra.
Another contributor to the exhibition, Mustafa Ezzi, says he is displaying 15 photos in the exhibit, adding that the most interesting photos he has taken were the ones concerning the architecture that demonstrates religion in the country.
My main theme is architecture, especially the Islamic and the Christian ones. I find my theme suitable for the show, in which we try to provide an overview of Egypt from different aspects, one of which is the religious aspect represented through its architecture, explains Ezzi.
The photos displayed in the exhibition, which lasts until the end of the week, are grouped in terms of topics.
The first group shows photos of Cairo and its culture, followed by a group of portraits of Egyptian faces and places. Another section in the exhibit represents the beauty of Nubia and its architecture, while another section concerns religion in Egypt, starting with Christianity then Islam.
Jones says the exhibit includes a section of scenic shots of the country and a final section about Africa, which displays some photos of Africa which he has taken over the years.