vagabond photographer

A Beautiful Thing Is Never Perfect

One day, while photographing in a very old neighborhood that never sees tourists wondering through their small winding streets, an older man stopped me and in a confused state asked me why I was taking photos. I was overwhelmed with awe and excitement by the scene I was photographing and motioned to it, stating ‘Just look at it, it’s beautiful.’ He looked, looked back at me and replied ‘beautiful, it’s an old mess’ and walked on.

The ancient Egyptian proverb ‘A Beautiful Thing Is Never Perfect’ seemed quite fitting for the photographs I was aiming to take of Cairo, a fascinating sprawling metropolis of over 20 million people. A city steeped in history, and yet, most visitors never venture past the pyramids and the main museum before moving on to the other historic cities of Egypt.

With this project, I aim to take the viewer past the postcard shots of the pyramids and sphinx, and deep into this diverse and historically rich city. To show a glimpse of the complexity of Cairo and the lives of the people through equally complex and candid moments of daily life that often raise more questions than provide obvious answers. Moments that even if we come from a completely different background, we can relate to, smile at, empathize with and appreciate the shared beauty of life.   I have visited numerous times since 2018, with most of the work done in 2020 and 2021, exploring deeper each visit.