Egypt immediately conjures images of the pyramids, the temples and the Sphinx in the desert. Early photographs of Egypt took these ancient monuments as their primary subjects, and these have remained hugely influential in constructing our view of the country. But 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.