CAIRO: Hidden under Zamalek’s 15th of May Bridge, Mariam Hassan and Khaled Salah’s photo exhibition “Features takes you on a short trip to the southern Egyptian city of Nuba.
“Features is the couple’s first exhibition, and was inspired by the unpolluted nature of Nuba. The couple decided to unite their thoughts by reading about Nuba’s culture and heritage. While their understanding differed, they tried to bring their ideas together as much as possible.
“We tried to feel and absorb the Nuba’s nature, says Hassan, “then turn it into influential expressive photo shots.
The photos are displayed together without any reference to who took them, Hassan or Salah. “Our personalities and backgrounds were detached; all we cared about was transferring the scene the way we saw it, says Hassan. “We wanted [the photo] to have the same impact on the viewer as it had on us.
Photos are displayed under the main topics that unite them. The idea of “surround-ness reflects how the Nubians are surrounded by nature, which they consider to be their sanctuary. According to Salah, due to the Nile flood, Nubians were forced by the government to immigrate north of Aswan.
This situation left them unsatisfied as they longed to return to their homes on the Blue Nile. “Nubians are [a] developed people, says Salah. “The majority of them are educated – they have computers and Internet, but this kind of openness did not affect their culture one bit.
The couple, who graduated from the faculty of applied arts, currently teaches photography at Sixth of October University. Salah explains that, while he usually prefers motion pictures to photography, Hassan, his wife, encouraged him to do this exhibition. Salah added that he prefers taking close-up shots using saturated colors like bright yellow and blue. “I also like the hard shadow technique, one that was used by Hitchcock in his movies, says Salah.
While Hassan does not limit herself to a certain photographic school, she said she prefers the “expressionism technique. Hassan is currently preparing for an exhibition under the theme of motion. “Motion is a wonderful photography technique. You can do it by moving the camera lens, the camera itself, or by moving the object that you are shooting, says Hassan.
The couple’s work is all part of an extended book project describing Egypt. They previously took pictures of Siwa, including Bedouin life, details of wedding ceremony like the henna night and pictures of various dances.
Don’t miss the “Features photo exhibition by Mariam Hassan and Khaled Salah running until July 30 at Sakkia Cultue Wheel at the end of 26th of July St. (on Aboul Feda St.) Zamalek.