22/02/2013

Cairopolis: photo exhibition in Ghent

Cairopolis: photo exhibition in Ghent Saint Peter’s Abbay, Sint-Pietersplein 9, 9000 Gent

The Egyptian Revolution broke out on January 25 2011. Reporters from all over the world gathered on Tahrir Square in Cairo to record the people’s protests first-hand.  In this period four Belgian photographers set out to discover the social undercurrents that played a pivotal role on Tahrir.  They focused on the individual stories of people and places.

The work of Harry Gruyaert and Filip Claus focuses mainly on the public domain. For Harry this consists of the satellite cities of Cairo where people seem to sink into nothingness compared to the megalomaniac construction projects. Filip goes into the streets of the city hoping to discover what it is that binds people.

Zaza Bertrand and Bieke Depoorter seek out the more private atmosphere.  In fact, Bieke often spends the nights with people she has met by chance and in so doing briefly shares in the intimacy of the family. She tries to understand the intervening time by way of interaction between people and their home environment.  Zaza focuses on young people from all walks of life and, in a way that is almost anthropological, records intimate and recognisable moments in their environment.

Their search does not produce the images you see on television or in the newspaper. Cairopolis tells the story of a metropolis with 20 million inhabitants, in which the rifts, that are also present in our society, are amplified and made palpable. Personal stories dominate. All exhibited photos date from November-December 2011 and February-March 2012.  At this point in time Tahrir Square is littered with dozens of dead and wounded.