Ronnie Close
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Contemporary lenses within Egypt
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The final chapter looks at the visual approaches of innovative photographic art practices in Egypt. These art photographers remain marginal and the dubious nature of the state’s interference in cultural affairs has impeded the development of a sustainable ecosystem of creative contemporary art practices. Many photographic artists operate with nuanced forms of personal expression, manipulating images and thinking beyond the direct image object itself. This generation of photographic artists have emerged in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings, and set out to create dialogue on cultural representation, identity and photographic aesthetics. The selection of art photography projects examined in this chapter consists of the work of two practitioners, Nadia Mounier and Ibrahim Ahmed, who are indicative of the indigenous reimagining of Egyptian visual culture. This generation has much to say about the state of the nation and patriarchal power, as the personal can become political. These artists constitute a contemporary wave of local image-makers who are rethinking Western narratives on the medium to look both outwards and inwards, capturing life among Egypt’s sprawling cities. Art photography holds a mirror to the globalized nature of modernity, colonial pasts and the emancipatory potential of image cultures vividly felt during 2011.

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Decolonizing images

A new history of photographic cultures in Egypt

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