Bashkateb in cooperation with the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute, (DEDI), launched the Photo Marathon 2015 on November in Cairo, El Mansoura, Port Said, and Aswan. The Photo Marathon is a photography competition that is inspired by the Danish Photomarathon where professionals and amateurs participated using their digital cameras or smartphones to carry out some certain photography tasks on the day of the event.
The photos produced through the event have been evaluated by a committee of judges that announced the names of the winners during the closing ceremony that held on December 2015.
The Egypt Photo Marathon 2015 aims to create a community of photographers and enhance the interaction between the photographers, their cities, and the neighborhoods they live in. Egypt Photo Marathon 2015 also provided the amateur and professional photographers with the opportunity to showcase their photographs freely without any limitations except for the rules and regulations of the competition.
Achievement of objectives
- Offer participants an alternative way of interacting with the city and its inhabitants.
This objective was fully achieved through the Marathon Day on November. On the most basic level, the Marathon offered participants a different way of moving through their cities, one which diverged from their normal patterns of movement from home to school, work, lessons or relatives’ homes. Participating in the Marathon encouraged participants to walk for long hours in the streets of their cities, an irregular activity for most urban residents in Egypt. Participant feedback reiterates this: “almost 12 hours walking without sitting down for a full 10 minutes”; “my feet are killing me!”; “it was exhausting and destroyed the feet”; “I can’t feel my feet at all”; etc.
- Promote the use of photography as a means of creative expression.
Many of the EPM participants were of a young age and saw the competition as a way to exercise their photography skills. Some approached the Marathon as a serious competition, while others participated just for fun. One participant commented on the prizes, saying that cameras were not a necessary reward, since “everybody who participated, participated with a professional camera or a semi-professional camera or compact or even a mobile phone.” This comment expresses a recognition that it is not the tools that make the art, but that it is the ability to creatively express an idea using the tools available that is more significant.
EPM 2015 produced an archive of 1,122 photos of contemporary Egypt from the perspective of inhabitants. Some of these photos have been published on Bashkatib’s website winning photos; they will also be shared through Bashkatib’s social media accounts. Bashkatib will keep the archive as a resource to draw from time to time to share on its accounts.
EPM Website: www.egyptphotomarathon.com/