egypt, 2009-2011
Egypt in the ancient languages of the Middle East meant ‘black land’, because of the Nile’s yearly black sediments that flooded farmlands. In every part of its 1.001.405 km2 this land seems more like red, because of centuries of struggles for national and social liberation that are far from over. A place filled with immense historical memory, from one of the first major civilizations of the Ancient World to the struggles against colonialism, the war with Israel, Nasser’s vision and many years of Mubarak’s dictatorship, Egypt is not only one of the most populated countries in the Middle East, with 76 million inhabitants, but at the same time it is a nodal point in what concerns geopolitical interests in the are and a politically and culturally significant country. I first visited the country in 2009, documenting everyday life and its contradictions. I returned in 2011 to Tahrir Square, a global symbol of struggle. Mubarak had gone, but the omnipresence of the army, the West’s hypocritical sensitivities and social misery were still there. In a country where youth unemployment reaches 90% and the ‘Arab Spring’ has yet to go through the winter of its history.