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Third Biennial of the Photographers of the Arab World : Introduction + From Egypt to Paris


This day dedicated to the Third Biennale of the Photographers of the Arab World was realized with the help and the choices of Gabriel Bauret and the collaboration of Agnès Vergez.

Thanks to them !


Initiated in 2015 by the Institut du Monde Arabe and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, this edition continues the exploration of photographic creation in the contemporary Arab world, faithful to the guidelines that immediately characterized its approach: to promote the richness and diversity of this creation through exhibitions spread over several places (9 in 2019) – geographically located in a perimeter between the IMA and the MEP -, to take a look at the Arab world of today, all by privileging the artistic approach, and bringing together creators from different origins.

– Gabriel Bauret


From Egypt to Paris

Egypt is a country that has been photographed a lot, and this largely since the early twentieth century, or even the late nineteenth century. These images, many, have nourished the Western imagination and we all carry them in one way or another inscribed in our mind.

Here, with this exhibition, no trace of exoticism or Orientalism. These young photographers, seven women and nine men aged 20 to 30, give us to look “beyond appearances”. What they give us to see through their “hakawi”, their stories, is an extremely contemporary Egypt reflecting the daily life of these women and men made of fights and hopes.

For two months, we were, Diane Augier and myself, to meet them, studying first of all more than five hundred files that were sent to us. Forty appointments led to this selection and the presentation of all the photographic works presented here. The large number of young women photographers who presented their work was a pleasant surprise, and seems to us a point to emphasize.

Hakawi, is a mosaic of photographic narratives, showing us a very contemporary Egypt, documenting the country and its society without compromise and with strong commitment.

Despite an environment far from conducive to practicing documentary photography, where working and making a living is still a challenge, these young photographers show with Hakawi how it can be possible and be of great quality. This is a message of hope that they send us and it obliges us to respect it. These men and women decided not to give up and continued to tell the stories of their country.

It is important to make space for this emerging generation of photographers. They tell us and document where and how they live. In the last few years, this movement  has been emerging  on the African continent, in various countries, and it is essential to support it. Hakawi is moving in this direction.

Written as part of the exhibition Hakawi – Stories of a contemporary Egypt by Bruno Boudjelal and Diane Augier, curators.




18, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris


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