Just before it became the site of political tourism after housing mass protests and sit-ins in 2011 demanding the fall of the regime, Tahrir Square was a crossing between the Egyptian Museum, the Cairo Tower, classic downtown eateries and other landmarks of the capital. But the meaning of the space was reproduced and reconstructed the moment it was occupied by hundreds of thousands of protesters who unsettled the normalcy of time and space. For photographers, the people became the new aesthetic of the frame.
While being the heart of the city, the square was mostly a point of passage for travelers between different tourist destinations in the capital.
But then, the revolutionaries of the 25 January uprising captured the square, controlling space and time there to demand the fall of the regime.
The square ever since has become a site of dissent and, for some, political tourism.
This piece was originally published in Egypt Independent’s weekly print edition.