This photo series was first conceived in 2012, during a mid-May afternoon in the City of the Dead, in Cairo.
Tired of dragging my feet in the dust under a blazing sun I instinctively sat on a sofa abandoned on the roadside. Weatherbeaten, its wooden armrests were unstable and the base completely worn out, even so it was able to fulfill its task of welcoming a tired traveller.
Inspired by the bright colours, and thankful of the service, I took a photo of it. The combination of the scraped yellow wall, interrumpted by a blue-greenish door framing the red experienced sofa, appeared to me as a frozen scenography.
An addiction was born.
At every ailley my eyes would search for sofas. At every shot I began realizing the socio-anthropologic role of these pieces of furniture that became goods of common use and gathering points for passer-bys, neighborhoods and families. The initial obsession turned into a structured project: Sofa culture in Middle East aiming to depict the complexity I was experiencing in Egypt, Palestine and Iraqi Kurdistan always maintaing sofas as the main story tellers.
Egypt – During the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the occupation of streets and squares brought to a symbolic redefinition of public spaces. In this socio-urban context, Egyptian sofas, in the same way, expressed the will to regain ownership of public spaces creating a new shared scenario. To know more click here
Palestine – Wherever they are located, in urban settings or rural landscapes, sofas in Palestine depict a land subjected to an ongoing occupation carried out by the Israeli State, but they also remind us of the stand-fasting struggle of the Palestinian people. To know more click here
Iraqi Kurdistan – In 2014, when Daesh overtook Mosul a large part of the Iraqi territory, the Kurdistan Region was hit by an humanitarian crisis still ongoing involving million of Iraqi IDPs (Internal Displaced People) searching for refuge. Sofas in Iraqi Kurdistan not only allows us to venture into the Iraqi society portraying the ethnic-religious diversity within the country, but also to display IDPs daily life in camps and urban settings. To know more click here