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A Photograph by Amina Kadous
From left to right: a man is smoking, a man’s foot is inclined upwards, a man has his hands around his head, a man sits cross-legged and turns to the camera from his side, a man in a brown djellaba rests a hand on a box bearing a worn poster. The final man, dressed in an olive green polo shirt, is the only person not sitting. He angles his body into the frame, perhaps right before the photo is taken. All the men do something different with their hands, to steady themselves for the shot. And all qualify to be seen as the shop owner, if for no other reason but the indication that they are in no hurry to lose each other’s company. The photograph is posed. As a result, the men appear with an ease of manner distributed evenly across the picture. Or perhaps, the right adjective is “lovingly.”
— Emmanuel Iduma
“Photography introduced me to the places, streets and people I was constantly searching for.”
On a slow Friday morning in the Almeghrabeleen neighborhood behind Al Khayameya (Old Cairo district), a group of friends sit beside each other while the Friday prayer calls. As I pass by, taking photographs of the chickens and the chaotic beauty of the neighborhood, one of them calls out, “Aren't we better looking than the chickens! Give us one good picture together!”
One of my most cheerful and uplifting photos, it represents the state of bliss that we tend to feel on Fridays mornings before Friday prayer. It's usually a spiritual and calm moment. It's quite a special photo that shows a spontaneity but also feels like it might have been staged. Yet it was not. I captured it in a quick moment when all of the men in the photo gave me their attention just for a second. This photograph also portrays the emotions and connectedness we are characterized by as Egyptians.
My approach to photography comes from within. It's quite personal, intimate, documentary-styled, but also visually raw. What drives me to photograph is the urge and the need to preserve and document fleeting moments that I want to keep remembering. In a way photography is a tool that immortalizes and pauses life. It became my language and my writing tool.
Photography introduced me to the places, streets and people I was constantly searching for. My practice and my quest in understanding myself in the midst of all the changes around me. For me the camera was that healing tool that allowed me to navigate through my fears and doubts of change. And to be part of change by recording what is happening now.
Photography in a way is a slice of reality. It becomes impactful when it touches on topics that we cease to talk about and therefore the photograph becomes the voice for people and their communities.
— Amina Kadous
About Amina Kadous
Amina Kadous is a visual artist based in Cairo, Egypt. Her work has been exhibited locally and Internationally. Her work was also exhibited at the The AfriKa Museum and Tropen museum in the Netherlands part of the World Press group exhibition, “Connecting views: Talents from the APJD.” She was awarded a grant from Magnum Foundation and Prince Claus foundation and was one of the top ten finalists for the Everyday Projects grant for her current long-term series “White Gold.” Recently she was awarded the Contemporary African photography Prize 2022 and showed the first chapter of her series part of the group exhibition, “If a tree falls in a forest” in Arles photography Festival, France in 2022 for which she was awarded the Prix De La Photo Madame Figaro at Arles photography festival in 2022, awarded for an emerging female photographer. See more of her work on her website, and via this interview and feature.
— “A Former Member of Boko Haram,” by Tom Saater
At some moment while listening to him calmly share his role and how he assassinated and slaughtered people, I would want to punch and strangle him. Another moment I felt like giving him a hug to tell him I’m sorry he lost his teenage years and was misled to join Boko Haram. As much as he wanted redemption, he was aware of the consequences of his past and saw it as fate. He said he will continue to seek forgiveness within. And he wished he could personally meet the families of the people he killed and seek their forgiveness.
— “Patterns,” by Suzanne Ushie
When I look now at my beloved photograph of my parents, I see that my father’s smile remained the same in his later years. That the tiny eyelet patterns on his agbada and the red polka dots on my mother’s dress somehow match. And then I wish, desperately, that my mother had saved her dress for me.
Editorial note: Last Friday, I inadvertently sent the latest edition of KINDRED, the ongoing series on family photography on TENDER PHOTO. Yet the speedy engagement the post received has made me reconsider the publication schedule. As a result, from this week onward, Saturday commentaries will be sent on Friday. Although this gives me a shorter publishing window, you would have a longer time-frame to read or revisit the two editions. Thank you, as always.
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This is the 83rd edition of this publication, which also read on web (best for viewing images), and via the Substack iOS/Android apps.
Every Wednesday I feature one photograph and the photographer who took it: you’d read a short caption from me, and a statement from the photographer. Every Friday, I publish a series of commentaries in response to photographs previously featured on the newsletter. My hope is to engage with early to mid-career African photographers, and to create a platform in which photographers lead the cataloguing and criticism of their work.
Photographers can now submit their work for consideration.
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