Monday, 29 December 2008

Denis Dailleux: Egypt

Photo © Denis Dailleux-All Rights Reserved

"Between Denis Dailleux and Cairo, it is a true love story : on one side, an insatiable fascination for this unique place, its mood, its magical lights and an unspeakable tenderess towards its inhabitants ; on the other, a natural generosity, a city which offers itself to this subjugated look, inhabitants full of spontaneous kindness."

Denis Dailleux is a French photographer, who visits Cairo with regularity. He developed an obsession with this ancient city that teems with people, cars and activity. He doesn't seem interested in the superficial Cairo, but delves in the character of the "real" people...those he describes as possessing spontaneous kindness...those who live in the slums but who are willing to share the little they have with anyone...an Egyptian trait.

His gallery Egypt, My Love is replete with soft-hued images of Egyptians...some posing with candor, others exhibiting shyness in being photographed by a khawaga. In the above photograph, the young clashes with the old...the "in-your-face" of the young man showing off his torso, and his mother demurely looking away from the camera...the story of Egypt in one photograph.

Another photograph in his galleries is of a mosque caretaker beating an old carpet out of its dust in the courtyard of either Al-Hassan or Al-Hussein mosque. Just looking at it, I can smell the Egyptian dust.