Photopia, the photographers’ hub based in Cairo, has opened the second edition of Cairo Photo Week, with the aim of supporting the photography community.
Over 140 photographers from around the world have come together for a series of exhibitions, workshops, and panel discussions over 10 days from 11 to 20 March 2021. The US and British Ambassadors in Cairo have visited the exhibition, and more ambassadors are also due to follow suit.
Marwa Abu Leila, Founder and Managing Partner of Photopia, said, “Through the Cairo Photo Week, we seek to create a global gathering to support and strengthen relationships between all workers in the world of photography, both in Egypt and around the world.”
The theme for this year’s festival is “Depth off Field”, focusing on the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and expand horizons for mobility and learning through work in various fields of photography.
In addition to the participating photographers at this year’s event, Cairo Photo Week will also host more than 90 speakers who will come together through 11 exhibitions, 80 panel discussions, and 11 workshops.
The photography festival, which expects more than 2,000 visitors, also features a special exhibition of cinematography entitled “Cima”. Top cinematographers in Egypt are expected to participate at this event, namely Mohsen Ahmed, Ahmed Al-Morsi, Abdel Salam Moussa, Sameh Selim, Victor Kreidi, Nancy Abdel Fattah, and Eslam Abdel Samie.
Karim El Hayawan, a Cairo-based photographer and interior architect, said, “Cairo Photo Week provides a platform for positive dialogue, that enriches the arts scene with the contribution of artists from different cultures and experiences.”
It is a unique opportunity to explore the different types and topics of photography and opens new channels of communication between workers in photography, he said.
El Hayawan added, “We need more of those events and festivals in the field of photography, and moreover, organising the festival in the historic downtown area brings a special energy to its activities.”
He said that his participation in the exhibition this year will include a photo walk in some of the historic streets of Cairo’s downtown area, and photographing the old architecture and its distinctive details. This comes in addition to his participation in the exhibition, lectures, and workshops.
Regarding the “Cima” exhibition, Abdel Salam Moussa, Director of Cinematography, said, “This year we thought about introducing a new idea by merging cinema with photography, as cinema is based on photography.”
“While the director of cinematography deals with 24 frames per second, the photographer takes only one frame, but frames are the base for both,” he added, “It is the first time that some of the best photography directors come together in a cinema art exhibition. Their different generations, experiences, and know-how, will enrich the talks and discussions throughout the festival.”
He explained that the cinematographers will also participate in a public symposium during the festival, to talk with the public about the exhibition and the latest trends in the field.
“There is no doubt that festivals like these have a very important impact across the entire region as they improve the quality and skills of participants by getting acquainted with new tools and techniques and benefiting from the experiences of others,” he added.
The US Ambassador in Cairo, Jonathan Cohen, noted, “Some of history’s most powerful stories have been told through photographs.”
“We are delighted to bring acclaimed American photographers to Egypt to share their expertise with counterparts from the Middle East and North Africa and continue the tradition of visual storytelling,” he added, “Our partnership with Photopia is part of the Embassy’s annual $500,000 contribution to arts organisations and institutions in Egypt, to promote cultural and artistic initiatives.”