Join us on Saturday, November 20 at 7pm for an artist talk and Q&A session with Roger Anis about his latest photography projects, Oh Mysterious Nile…Will You Be Immortal!, Shaabi Beaches, and Marseille Le Métissage. This event has limited seating, so RSVP to secure your spot!
Oh Mysterious Nile…Will You Be Immortal!
The Arabic word ‘Shaabi’ is a reference to social class, standards, popularity, behavior, culture, and traditional communities. While economic strain hits many in the country financially, Egyptians always manage to spend at least one day of summer on the beach. This layer of Egyptian society is explored through the portraiture of local layman and families who travel hours away from their cities and villages in buses or trains to have a leisurely visit to the beach. Ras El Bar, Gamasa, and Baltim on the Mediterranean coast make up the majority of public beaches that locals visit. Beach-going traditions, like having the music blasting, colorful swimwear, and food are present in both public and private beaches in different ways, each becoming signifiers for their respective social class.
Marseille Le Métissage
The word 'Shaabi' for me in Egypt and other places in the Arabic region describes one class, one layer of society, which was my understanding. But is it the same everywhere? Or is there something different? I wanted to hear people's stories, and see new geographies, and observe the colors of the water there. I spent two months moving between beaches in Marseille. I was amazed at how diverse it is there, with people of all classes, colors and creeds finding their leisurely free time on the same beachside. The water is very liberating, and I witnessed this in Marseille where people sat next to each other but still enjoyed their own individuality, like a little utopia. While generalizations like this might seem naive about the whole city, the harmonious relationship between the water, the beach, and its diverse visitors finding safety and space among one another told a compelling story.
"I have been all of my life living by the Mediterranean, in Alexandria, Tunisia, Lebanon and visited most places by the Mediterranean but Marseille is my final destination... It's a place where you can find everybody together in one place. C'est les metissage," Myriam told me looking toward the sea from her terrace in Malmusque.
About the Artist
Roger Anis is an Egyptian photojournalist and documentary photographer. He received his bachelor in fine arts from Egypt and started his career as a photojournalist in 2010, where he worked with different newspapers and international news agencies. In 2014, Roger was named the winner for the first Reuters Microsoft mobile photo award and his work was exhibited in Egypt and internationally. He received a degree in photojournalism from the Danish School of Media & Journalism in Denmark in 2015. Roger works on photo stories to expose social issues to wider audiences. Currently Roger is learning about different visual mediums that he can combine with his photography and is expanding into filmmaking.