A friend of mine from the year I spent at the American University in Cairo in 1989-90, Maha Maamoun, became an artist who uses photography. She is also a curator. We re-met in Beirut in 2007 where she was organizing the Meeting Points 5 arts festival and now I see her work has been in the 9th Sharjah Biennial. There is a statement by her in the most recent issue of Nafas art magazine. Her recent work, Domestic Tourism I and II, is described there, with photos.
For Domestic Tourism II she searched for scenes in movies that featured the pyramids as backdrop and put them together. She explains the chronology and rhythm she chose for the resulting film, which sounds evocative:
"I wanted to start and end with the present so that the film does not end up as a celebration of a romantic past vs. a rough present. Instead, it visits the past and shows its various formulations by a changing present.
The film starts with recent scenes, from the 2000’s, with their lighter and more superficial engagement in social and political issues, then the tone of the film heightens as we move backwards through the 90’s, 80’s, and 70’s, with cinema’s deeper engagement with the harshness of political and social realities. The tension is then released with the celebratory scenes of political and social glee from the 60’s and 50’s, where the pyramids act mostly as a backdrop to a celebrating and celebrated middle class. Here we reach the oldest scene I have, the turning point, after which the tension gradually builds up as we move up again through the traumatic political and economic upheavals of the late 60’s, phasing out to the present."