© 2019 by Wafaa Samir.
 

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SIGHT MAPPING (2014-2016)

This project is a long term series which charts the city of Cairo photographically using a mobile camera. Digital maps were used as a starting point, then gave way to parallel, subjective maps comprised of the scenes that caught my eye on these photo-walks.

The photos aren’t meant to transmit the gaze of a tourist, nor a local, but rather something in between; a local looking with fresh eyes at a familiar place. It looks at the everyday with new wonder, really seeing it attentively and resisting becoming visually desensitized.

Cairo is colored by its broken patterns and bold eccentricities, how the light falls into spaces, and the residents who walk into the frame to complete the scene. The project tries to re-discover what we consider ordinary, and perhaps recalibrate the eye to seeing what it has become oblivious to, allowing sight to roam free and make its own maps.

In the end the photo-walks served to challenge not only the photographer’s eye, but the locals’ who saw no beauty in their surroundings worth photographing. The photos suggest that perhaps familiarity is the threshold between what we consider worthy of our attention and what we don’t.

 

The images were shot between 2014 and 2016, and revisited in 2019 to be published in a zine. Just like the aim of the photo-walks, I saw it with fresh eyes.

One of the images was exhibited at The Arab streets exhibition in Dubai (2019)