In 2005 I began to document the lives of everyday Egyptians as an Egyptian. I took pictures of people shopping in the market, families on weekend outings, the first wave of political opposition protests led by the “Kefaya” (Enough) movement, people living on the fringes of society in burial grounds and others living on the edge of humanity among piles of household waste, hospital discard and dwelling rats. My work has continued through the Egyptian revolution and the violence prompted against the pro-democracy movement.

This work is a portrayal of Egypt through my own eyes. Guided by my childhood memories and a struggle to understand the country I call my home, In the Shadow of the Pyramids is my journey through Egypt to explore the essence of Egyptian identity in the hope of coming to terms with my own — from the time of Mubarak to the revolution and Egypt's looming future.

— Laura El-Tantawy

Editor's note: We first discovered Laura El-Tantawy's work when she entered the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2011 (where she won an honorable mention). Since then, she has gone on to achieve worldwide recognition and many other awards and honors. See her profile on LensCulture and see much more of her work on her website.

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