Saturday, 7 February 2009

Jason Larkin: Cairo's Souq El Gomma

Photo ©Jason Larkin-All Rights Reserved

Jason Larkin is a British photographer currently based in Cairo, and works extensively throughout the Middle East region. Recent commissions include Monocle, FT Magazine, L’Espresso, New York Times, Der Spiegiel, and The Guardian.

Jason chose the unusual subject of Souq El Gomma (Market of the Friday) to feature on his website, which he describes as "an exploration of the myriad people, objects and spaces that make up Cairo’s Souq El-Gomma, the Middle East’s largest informal market gathering."

According to my research, this market is nestled in a dusty patch beneath a flyover in the southern cemeteries of City of the Dead just beyond Cairo's Citadel. It's a repository of both cheap goods, discarded items found by Cairo's trash collectors, "antiques" and stolen goods. The hand gesture by the fellow in Jason's photograph is the typical Egyptian "what do you want? why are you taking my picture?".

All major cities have similar markets and while I haven't been to Souq El Gomma, Jason's photographs remind me of Bangkok's huge Chatuchak Weekend Market.