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Photopia opens Cairo photo week's second edition in Downtown
Published in Ahram Online on 12 - 03 - 2021

With the aim of supporting the photography community, Photopia - the photographers' hub - has opened, on 11 March, the second edition of Cairo photo week in Downtown Cairo. The international photography week takes place at four different locations in the heart of Cairo's historic Downtown area: The Factory space, Rawabet space area, Kodak corridor and The Consulate.
Second edition of Cairo Photo Week in Downtown Cairo (photo credit of CC Capital)
US Ambassador Jonathan R. Cohen and his French counterpart Stéphane Romatet were present at the opening, together with the top notch cinematographers of Egypt such as Mohsen Ahmed.
In this year's round, around 140 photographers from around the world are taking part in a series of exhibitions, workshops and panel discussions ongoing over 10 days from 11 to 20 March 2021.
Founder and Managing Partner of Photopia Marwa Abu Leila said, "Through the Cairo photo week, we seek to create a global gathering to support and strengthen relationships between all workers in the world of photography in Egypt and around the world. The theme for this year's festival is "Depth off Field" to focus on the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and expand horizons for mobility and learning through work in various fields of photography. This year, 140 photographers from all over the world and more than 90 speakers will come together through 11 exhibitions, 80 panel discussions and 11 workshops. The photography festival, which expects more than 2,000 visitors, are also featuring a special exhibition of cinematography entitled 'Cima', in which top notch cinematographers in Egypt will participate, namely Mohsen Ahmed, Ahmed El-Morsi, Abdel-Salam Moussa, Sameh Selim, Victor Kreidi, Nancy Abdel-Fattah and Eslam Abdel Samie."
For his part, US Ambassador Jonathan R. Cohen noted, "Some of history's most powerful stories have been told through photographs. We are delighted to bring acclaimed American photographers to Egypt to share their expertise with their counterparts from The Middle East and North Africa as well as continue the tradition of visual storytelling. Our partnership with Photopia is part of the Embassy's annual half million-dollar contribution to arts organisations and institutions in Egypt to promote cultural and artistic initiatives."
French ambassador Stéphane Romatet talks to cinematographer Mohsen Ahmed in the presence of US Ambassador Jonathan R. Cohen
Karim El-Hayawan, a Cairo-based photographer and interior architect explained "Cairo photo week provides a platform for positive dialogue that enriches the arts scene with the contribution of artists from different cultures and experiences. This provides a unique opportunity to explore the different types and topics of photography as well as opens new channels of communication between workers in photography. We need more of those events and festivals in the field of photography."
"Moreover, organising the festival in the historic downtown area brings a special energy to its activities. My participation this year in the exhibition will include a photo walk in some of the historic streets in downtown as well as photographing the old architecture and its distinctive details, in addition to participating in the exhibitions, lectures, and workshops." he added.
On the 'Cima' exhibition, Abdel-Salam Moussa, Director of Cinematography commented "This year we thought about introducing a new idea by merging cinema with photography as cinema is based on photography. While the director of cinematography deals with 24 frames per second, the photographer takes only one frame. But frames are the base for both."
"It is the first time that some of the best photography directors come together in a cinema art exhibition. Their different experiences and know-how will enrich the talks and discussions throughout the festival. Cinematographers will also participate in a public symposium during the festival to talk to the public about the exhibition and the latest trends in the field. There is no doubt that festivals like these have a very important impact across the entire region as they improve the quality and skills of participants by getting acquainted with new tools and techniques as well as benefiting from the experiences of others," Moussa added.

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