Julien Chatelin: Egyptorama (2011)
The images of a crowded and riotous Tahrir Square are the most recent portraits of Egypt burnished in the public imagination. However far from Cairo’s tumultuous center lies a world trapped in time, cities littered with the remains of real-estate promoters pharaonic projects. It is an abandoned landscape where a solitary figure wandering the empty streets seems to endlessly linger, and the half-built apartment buildings scattered on the sides of the road give the impression not only of defeat, but a cruel absurdity.
A lonely door built in the middle of the desert, a forest of lampposts, a mosque shaped like a spaceship; emptiness turns brutally into strangeness, creating a tension between people and their environment. This is Egyptorama—a road trip that leads nowhere. They are photographs from a lost and hidden corner of Egypt, spread across more than 8000 kilometers.