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Shifting Sands: A meeting with artists

June 01, 20237:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In English and Spanish, with simultaneous translation.

On the occasion of the exhibition Shifting Sands, the project which won the last edition of the Nur call for entries, forming part of the PhotoEspaña 2023 Festival, Casa Árabe has organized this meeting with photographers Wafaa Samir and Rehab Eldalil, along with the curator David Drake.

Shifting Sands presents five interrelated projects by award-winning young photographers from North Africa and the Middle East, each with a powerful creative vision that poetically addresses similar issues in their respective territories and environments for different reasons and purposes.

In her project, Longing of the Stranger Who Has Lost His Way, Rehab Eldalil rekindles with his roots and explores the process of finding a sense of belonging in the Bedouin community of Saint Catherine in South Sinai, Egypt. The community occupies a central place in the creative process. The artist uses her commentary on embroidery, poetry, sound and storytelling to relate her photographic work with issues of social injustice and the community’s history of struggles to protect its land from danger, and how that land has provided the community with blessings in return for work.

Conferencia PHE- Wafaa SamirAs for What Remains, by Wafaa Samir, it discusses the sustainable city of New Gourna, built by sustainable architecture pioneer Hassan Fathy. The village designed by Fathy was built in 1946 to house the inhabitants of the town of Gourna, in the city of Luxor, who were evacuated to reduce the damage caused to the Ancient Egyptian tomb discovered under the town. The exhibition’s curator, David Drake will discuss how each of the five projects in the exhibition contains a call to action, as well as closely examining the links between photography, poetry, embroidery, calligraphy, sound, found objects and archival material, and analogue and digital processes, in order to convey powerful environmental messages.

Rehab Eldalil is an award-winning documentary photographer and visual storyteller, born and based in Cairo, Egypt. She received her bachelor’s degree in Photography from Helwan University in Cairo in 2011, shortly after participating in the Egyptian uprising, about which she co-authored a photo book titled The Road To Tahrir documenting the earliest weeks of the revolution. She completed an Master’s degree in Photography at Falmouth University in the UK in 2020 and earned a certificate from New York’s International Center of Photography in 2021. She has been awarded the AFAC and Magnum Foundation’s 2020 Arab Documentary Photography Program, the National Geographic Society’s 2020 Emergency Journalist Fellowship, and the Creative Activism Award for 2021. More recently, she received the Foto Evidence W Award for 2022 to turn her project into a book, the regional World Press Photo 2022 Award and the Albert Camus Mediterranean Award of 2022.

Wafaa Samir is a photographer and visual artist who lives and works in Cairo. Her photography explores our relationships with urbanism and physical spaces, as well as the figurative representation of emotions and moods. She shifts her attention between these inner and outer worlds, approaching each in very different ways. Wafaa earned her bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the Fine Arts School of Cairo in 2013. At the same time, she cultivated her interest in photography and actively participated in various group exhibitions in Cairo, Germany, Belgium, France and Dubai. Her participation in the twenty-sixth edition of the Cairo Youth Salon earned her the Photography Award. One of her photographs was selected to be the official poster image for the First Biennial of Arab World Photographers and for the official poster of the MOOOV Film Festival in 2015. Her most recent exhibitions include Diffusion at the Wales International Photography Festival in Cardiff, UK (2021), the Cairo Art Fair (2020) and Gulf PhotoPlus, Dubai (2019).

David Drake is an independent UK-based curator, writer and producer with over three decades of experience working in the international arena. His current projects include curating a career-long retrospective of Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths at The Photographer’s Gallery, London, and being writer/editor of the matching book at Thames and Hudson Publishers; Shifting Sands for Casa Árabe and PHotoESPAÑA, and curating the Muttrah Art and Culture Projectin Oman in 2024. His most recent projects include The Place I Call Home (2018-2021), a large exhibition that toured seven countries, exploring the idea of home as is relates to the experiences of people living in the Arab Gulf states in a time of rapid change and social mobility.
Shifting Sands: A meeting with artists
Photo: Rehab Eldalil

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Shifting Sands

Starting on Friday, June 2, you can visit this exhibition at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid. The exhibit, curated by David Drake, was the winning project in the last edition of the Nur call for entries and forms part of the PhotoEspaña Festival of 2023.
From June 2, 2023 until September 24, 2023 MADRID