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220 × 190 × 18 mm
192 pages
121 illustrations, 77 in colour
01 Nov 2009
  • £19.95

  • This edition is currently unavailable

Photography and Egypt Maria Golia

While the photography of Egypt and its monuments by foreigners has been well-documented, until now comparatively little has been known about the early days of photography among Egyptians themselves. Photography and Egypt redresses the balance: as well as considering images taken by early explorers, for the first time Maria Golia presents a wide range of photography made by Egyptians, of Egyptians, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

The author examines how photography was employed for propaganda purposes, including depictions of celebrated soldiers, workers and farmers; and how studio-based photography was used to portray the growing Egyptian middle class. Today’s young photographic artists, Golia reveals, use the medium to celebrate everyday life and to indict political and social conditions, with photography bearing witness to history - as well as helping to shape it.

Illustrated with a rich, sometimes surprising variety of images, many published for the first time in the West, Photography and Egypt is the first book to relate the story of Egypt’s rapport with photography in one concise and highly readable account.

Customers in the US, Canada and South America may order the book here: https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/P/bo8364849.html

‘Maria Golias relaxed prose belies her careful research on the subject of foreign and Egyptian enthusiasts of this most suspiciously regarded of visual arts . . . While Golias observations on the role of photography as a midwife for the birth of mass tourism are acute, more striking is her exploration of how Egyptians embraced the ficitionalization of their country . . . Golia ends with the hope that the books images will suggest the value of honouring a photographic legacy integral to Egypts self-understanding.’ — TLS

‘Golia is a terrific writer, and she brings to Photography and Egypt the same easygoing prose that made her earlier book, Cairo: City of Sand, such a pleasure to read . . . Golias intense and unyielding affection for the place . . . is balanced by wry humor and an occasionally brutal critique of the censorious nature of the current regime, the paranoia of life under emergency law, and the lethargy perpetuated by a swollen and ineffectual state bureaucracy.’ — Bidoun

‘Author and long-term resident, Maria Golia, conjures the real Egypt to life before the reader, and unfolds the development of a vernacular photography, from topography, middle class posturing and propaganda, to political and social activism and bearing witness to contemporary events.’ — F22 Magazine

‘An admirable and precise historical analysis and critique of the conditions under which photographs were produced in Egypt, as well as an assessment of their impact on the region.’ — Catherine David, chief curator, Musées de France

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Maria Golia managed one of America’s premier progressive music venues, the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center, in Fort Worth, Ornette Coleman’s hometown. Her previous books include Cairo: City of Sand (2004), Photography and Egypt (2009) and Meteorite: Nature and Culture (2015), all published by Reaktion.

Seeing Time
The Window of Appearance
Studio Venus
‘Kings Never Die’
The Show of Shows
Epilogue: ‘We are Old’
Selected Bibliography
Photo Acknowledgements