/Re:Viewing Egypt/ and More on Photography, Literature and Egypt

Re:Viewing Egypt, a book of photographs by Xavier Roy (pictured, with a copy) and text by Gamal al-Ghitani (Zayni Barakat, Zafarani Files), is now available in the U.K. from Haus Press.

I have not yet seen the book; it should be available elsewhere, including in Cairo, come September.

The project seems strikingly like Cairo from Edge to Edge.  That book, published in 1998, had text by Sonallah Ibrahim (Zaat, Stealth) and photographs by Jean Pierre Ribiere. But although I enjoyed Ibrahim’s introduction, there was something washed-out about many of the photographs. I know almost nothing of photography criticism, but while I found some of the compositions interesting, these weren’t photographs that I would visit and re-visit. (An Amazon.com reviewer says they capture the grit and beauty of Cairo. Perhaps.)

Another interesting photography book out in 2010 is  Maria Golia’s Photography and Egypt.

Golia gives a very brief account of the practice of photography in Egypt, by foreigners and later by Egyptians. There are some interesting anecdotes about pioneer photographers as well as wonderful photos (nicely reproduced), although I suppose I was looking for more theory or cultural analysis.

In any case, I look forward to flipping through Re:Viewing Egypt.