THE STORYTELLERS - SOFAS IN CAIRO
The idea of this photography project takes shape in Cairo, in 2011, in a very hot afternoon. Tired of dragging my feet under a blazing sun, I remember, I instinctively sat down on a sofa that was left on the edge of the road. It was falling apart: the wooden armrests where unstable and the base was worn out, but still doing its job. That's when I started wondering who could have put that sofa there, how long it must has been there for, how many people must have sitted on it and how many stories it must had witnessed or listened to!
Since then, my interest in Cairo sofas grew. In my opinion, they embody the social coesion that characterizes Egyptian culture. They express the pleasure of being in company, the generosity of sharing needs, the disponibility to help, the wish of always being comfortable and...last but not least...a certain attraction for other people's buisness' ;)
But overall, to my eyes, they are Cairo's storytellers.
THE PROJECT: THE STORYTELLERS - SOFAS IN CAIRO
In Cairo, sofas are scattered all over the city. At the mercy of atmospheric agents, they wore out, and sometimes break in two but they remain willing to welcome the next exhausted traveller in search of relief. In exchange? They just want a story to be told.
Usually sofas are conceived as simple pieces of indoor furniture, however, in Cairo, they acquire a new dimension: they become commonly used facilities placed in public spaces where anyone can benefit from them. Thus, they get swallowed up by the chaos produced by the city, until, completly assimilated they become part of Cairo's urban environment.
Wherever they're positioned: on a dusty road, on a sidewalk or in that very known square, symbol of the revolution....they're bond to be scenographies in which unconscious actors enter enriching the frame and raising questions in the viewer:
Where are we?
Who's sofa is it?
How long has it been there?
Why is it there? and so on.....
During this itinerary, sofas are our guides, and they take us in different realities and encourage us to rely on our imagination in order to build infinite combination of stories according to the answers we give ourselves observing the photos, on our mood and our cultural background.
The scenaries change, but the storyteller is always the same: the sofa.