Talk and Book Launch
(This event has passed)

Apr 27, 2015 6:00pm
Organized by: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC)
Venue: Contemporary Image Collective (CIC)
Address: 3rd and 4th Floor, 22 Abd al-Khaliq Tharwat St., Downtown Cairo, Egypt
Event Language: Arabic

Talk and Book Launch 
Mirrors or Windows: How to Decipher a Photograph
Yasser Alwan
27 April 2015, 7pm
Language: Arabic 

CIC is delighted to announce an evening dedicated to Yasser Alwan’s freshly published book Mirrors or Windows: How to Decipher a Photograph. Join us to find out more, discuss, celebrate and get a copy of this important contribution to image related discourses in Egypt and beyond. Yasser Alwan will give a talk touching on some of the books topics and be present throughout the evening to discuss its content. 

Mirrors or Windows: How to Decipher a Photograph, recently published by Muroug Press, is the first critical book in Arabic on photography in Egypt. It has elements of a “how to” book, a history textbook, a treatise about the use and misuse of photographs, and a personal account of the author’s photographic practice over the last twenty years. It poses the basic question: How has Egypt been photographed in the past, in order to asks how and why are we photographing Egypt today. The book includes 26 high-quality reproductions in color and b&w by artists, photo-journalists, “documentary” photographers, as well as historical and vernacular images of Egypt, France and America.

The book challenges the widespread view in the region that photographs are transparent, direct and unambiguous cultural products. It presents some of the basic criteria that can be used to analyze and understand photo-journalism, documentary, and art photography.

While photography has become a universal medium in the 21st century, no single photograph carries the same meaning in China, America and Egypt, nor do photographs made 70 and 150 years ago have a single intrinsic interpretation over time.

Mirrors or Windows… is divided into four dense but easily-readable chapters that present photography from a photographer’s point of view rather than an scholar’s, and no claim made for an exhaustive treatment of its subject.