[photo docu, 2013]

The Eye Does not See above the Brow

Webs of satellite dishes and monumental billboards decorate many rooftops of Cairo’s ageing buildings. The distant onlooker would fail, however, to see the washing lines, scattered toys, and pigeon houses of an overlooked community living above the cityscape. In The Eye Does not See above the Brow, I visit three rooftop families who have migrated from smaller cities across the countryside to settle in the metropolitan capital. They had vain hopes for a stable source of income, fair opportunities, and a higher quality of life.

With a large format camera, a portable darkroom, and a bag full of bottled chemicals, we crafted together their photographic portraits. The resulting photographs —some of which are Collodion wet plates— acknowledge on the one hand their presence by bringing us face to face with them. While on the other hand, the faded, scratched, and scraped details of their portrayed faces reflect their marginalisation both physically and economically.

Portable Darkroom and Makeshift Tripods on the Rooftops, 2013
Group Exhibition, German University in Cairo, 2013
Solo Exhibition on a Rooftop in Heliopolis, Cairo, 2013