Thursday, 10 July 2008

Claudia Wiens: Egypt

Image © Claudia Wiens-All Rights Reserved

Claudia Wiens has been based in Cairo, Egypt as a freelance photographer since 2000, and immersed herself in this populous Arab and Islamic nation, getting as close as possible to its people. She's represented by Getty Images

Claudia attended the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop (FPW) in Mexico City, and I initially met her while lunching over a few tacos near the workshop's center. She was wearing a red t-shirt advertising "SAVO", an Egyptian detergent that I remembered being used years ago when I lived there. I asked her if she had visited Egypt, and she shocked my socks off by replying in flawless Egyptian that she actually lived there in a neighborhood I knew well, and this was said in as good a pronunciation as mine, and truth be told, it sounded less rusty! We continued most of our conversation in Egyptian...it was certainly fun to be speaking my native language with a German in Mexico City.

Her project in Mexico City for FPW was documenting the female professional wrestlers known as luchadoras, a project which earned her much attention and compliments.

She has recently published some of her work on the Luchadoras on the BBC website.

If I'm not mistaken, the above photograph by Claudia is of the famed Cairene coffeehouse known as "El-Feshawy" where I had my first (and probably last) sheesha or hubbly-bubbly water pipe. If any of my readers have nostalgic memories of Cairo, have a look at Claudia's photo essay on Groppi.