Town House gallery is currently exhibiting 25 photos based on the theme of contrast within Egyptian life and landscape. The exhibition showcases the best 25 photographs out of 370 entries submitted for Egypt: Land of Contrast, a photography competition organized by the Delegation of the European Commission in Cairo.
Well-lit within the ambient white walls of the Town House gallery, the exhibition was accompanied by aptly chosen background music that prodded visitors along as they took in images of worn-out buildings with soaring Nile City towers seemingly super-imposed in the distance, or an up-close shot of a fully veiled women walking by a partially undressed manikin.
Philipp Spalek, 25, a Middle East studies student from Germany, received first prize and €1,000. His photo, titled ‘Illuminations,’ encapsulates the old and the modern side of Cairo, showing a barber working in his new shop against a backdrop of the old city walls and sheep meandering through the street.
Second prize was awarded to Ali Hassan, 34, a chemical engineer, who received a digital SLR camera.
“I tried to capture the contrast between simple rural life and modern city living,” says Hassan. His photo was a sweeping image of a small fishing boat floating in the Nile, agricultural land, and in the distance the high-rises of Maadi.
Student Amina Ali, 21, took third place, which reserved a special mention from the jury. Her photo, an extraordinary composition that incorporates a piece of broken glass reflecting the Cairo Citadel and a partially smiling young girl, reflects the contrast between the old beautiful Egypt and the current Egypt, according to the photographer.
“I wanted to show that the old era is broken,” Ali explains in reference to the broken reflection of the Citadel in the mirror she fractured herself for the shot, "but at the same time the young girl smiling suggests there may still be hope."
Many of the other photos are also impressive, and clearly the judging panel had to make some tough calls. This is one exhibition that proves to be quite an eye-opener on the subject of diversity within Egypt, truly a land of contrast.
The exhibition is open until January 6.
10 Nabarawy street, off Champollion street, Downtown
opening hours: 10 AM to 2 PM
6PM to 9PM
Thursdays are off