Photopia is an independent photography school in Cairo, which is dedicated to the image industry in Egypt and the region. This November, it’s launching its first edition of the most anticipated photo festival: Cairo Photo Week. It is a week of photography education, exhibitions, studios, networking, and services. It will be held in Downtown Cairo at two of its historical venues the Kodak Passageway and the Tamara Building, in collaboration with Al Ismaelia For Real Estate Investment, Downtown Cairo Revivers.
We talked to Marwa Abo Leila, Managing Partner of Photopia and Cairo Photo Week to find out everything about the festival. “The idea emerged from the need. We don’t have enough festivals to network and to bring people together. We wanted to create something like Milano Photo Week and London Photo Week, especially that there was a two-day event in Cairo in the past. That’s why we created Cairo Photo Week, to promote Cairo in terms of photography and image-making scenes, in addition to retouching, post-production, magazines, makeup artists, visual storytellers and much more,” she says.
Speaking of Photopia’s collaboration with Al Ismaelia For Real Estate Investment, Marwa tells us, “This isn’t our first collaboration. When we faced a problem in finding the right location for hosting Cairo Photo Week, we couldn’t think of someone better than the Downtown Cairo revivers. It’s a win-win situation: they have plenty of places that accommodate big numbers, and we as Photopia handle the organization of such events”.
Talking about Marwa’s future plans, “Cairo Photo Week is planned to happen every two years, as nothing can really change in the photography scene in a year, and we don’t want to be repetitive or boring. We plan for it to become a regional event that presents Egypt’s talented photographers. It’s like a two-way thing; a big festival where people meet and network.” She adds, “Moreover, we are planning to expand on Photobook Egypt, a series of printed photo books that are sold around Egypt, and sometimes in Dubai and London.”
The festival celebrates the work and achievements of local, regional and international photographers in the culturally rich, historic Downtown Cairo, using the theme “Tell Your Visual Story”. It will take place from the 22nd till the 30th of November, 2018, running for eight days, including fifteen workshops, ninety keynote speakers, eighty talks, fifteen portfolio reviews and much more.
The festival welcomes all genres of photography and image-making, from commercial and fine arts to food styling and magazine editorial and media production. A wide platform is guaranteed for the photographers through scheduled talks, workshops, panels, slide jams and more. The festival’s instructors selection includes Denis Dailleux, Soren Padger from DMJX, Laura Boushnak, Toufic Araman, Batool Al Daawi and many more.
Cairo Photo Week’s main objective is to create a voice and a platform for the industry to meet, learn and network. The discussions will tackle all aspects of the image industry such as artistic, technical, business, and ethics.
The festival will run three exhibitions with the support of Photopia. The first is “Sard /سرد ” curated by Sabry Khaled, featuring twelve powerful documentary photo stories. The second is “She Tells هي تحكي” by Soma Art, exhibiting the body of work of twelve female photographers. The last exhibition is “Photobook Egypt on the Walls” featuring the highlights of Photobook Egypt.
Cairo Photo Week takes pride in collaborating with the Revivers of Downtown Cairo Al Ismaelia For Real Estate Investment, with Cannon Central and North Africa as the main gear and printing sponsor. In addition to the participation of some regional, and international educational institutions such as Gulf Photo Plus (Dubai), The Danish School of Media and Photojournalism (Denmark) and Canon School. Furthermore, the festival’s art partners are Soma Art, Contemporary Image Collective and studio gear partners include Gearbox Studios, General (VSCO) & Photopia Cairo.
Cairo Photo Week is also happening in support of the Prince Claus Fund, The Danish-Egyptian Dialogue, and The French Institute in Cairo. The official beverage is Coca Cola, and the event’s food and coffee are catered by TBS. The official women’s magazine is What Women Want, and the official modeling agency is Vichi, with the official photographers’ platform being Mosawer.net, and the travel partner is Golden Tours Group.