The Void and the Country

The Void and the Country (2009-11) is a visual travelogue through Egypt. Completed a week after Mubarak’s fall, it is affected by an unprecedented debasement of life and space at the hands of an aggressive globalized economy.

The absence of a human presence in public view could be seen as a visual metaphor for this abandonment: a country devoid of its citizens.

In this light, the paradigmatic revolt of January 25, 2011 was first and foremost the reclamation of public space by its legitimate inhabitants showing a civic awareness and responsibility. It is certainly not accidental that the first public act by the people was to look after the commons —a drop in the ocean under the circumstances, but not without its symbolic significance.

The work takes a stroll among signs of downright destruction and of uneven progress—both of which are symptomatic of all Middle East countries. I compose images which relate the marks left by existence, by movement and by conflict, to a present that is anything but resolved.