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Cairographie Kicks Off its Second Edition with a Special Carte Blanche Exhibition

Carte Blanche Grant winner Amina Kudous had her own exhibition.

Amina Kudous

The second edition of the Cairographie Photography Festival, titled "Cairographie - Carte Blanche" with the theme of "The Multiple States of Youth", kicked off in Darb 1718 on November 10th.

Co-produced by Darb 1718 and Al-Safar Association, this festival celebrates the art of photography and video, and highlights the expression of contemporary topics through the use of these mediums.

Among the 27 visual artists in attendance are amateur and professional photographers, photojournalists, filmmakers, concept designers and even archive-image-researchers. All telling their stories and sharing their take on the concept of youth and its stages. Carte Blanche grant winner and young Egyptian photographer Amina Kadous was honoured with a display of her own titled ‘A Crack in the Memory of My Memory’.

“Especially when you’re a self-employed artist you have so much doubt as to how to sustain yourself and how to [keep telling] your story as well,” Kadous told CairoScene. “When you’re also a rising artist, you need to find other sources of income, especially when you’re not going after other work that doesn’t resemble you in any way... It’s hard to keep the cycle moving. So having [won] the Carte Blanche was big for me, not only because it is my first grant, but because having the trust of other people [and the fact] that they believe in your vision and want to support that vision is key.”

With the help of Al Safar’s funding, Kadous will now be able to start working on publishing a book that collects all of her personal photo-based projects and scouting for potential collaborations with designers and publishers. As Kadous told CairoScene, being awarded this grant “proved to me that it’s very important to believe in what you’re doing and keep doing it with truth and transparency because only then will people believe in it and start noticing and realizing your vision.”

The first edition of the Cairographie in 2017 was realized with the theme of 'Transitions' and was also held in Darb 1718. Al Safar’s Carte Blanche grant project is dedicated to emergent photo-based artists in and from the MENA region.