For almost three months, Eslam Abd El Salam has been visiting rooftops here and there with his two friends and collaborators Menna Essam and Mahmoud Khattab.
“When I first started practicing photography, I was in awe of nothing but the opportunities I was given to explore different places; a human nature.
I remember the curiosity I always had when I see a building that I like and then I can only imagine what its rooftop would look like and wondered where I can access it. By time, I started to push myself into going inside to see for myself, to put myself into a situation where I have to see what will happen, what would I feel. Is it abandoned? Do people live there? Will they allow me to take a look? How would I react and what will I talk about if they were welcoming? And what will the view look like?
Rooftops, to me, is an end to a building but not quite. Not until you discover the leftovers, hear and feel the passing of others. Of people that go there and people that might even live there.
Excitement and secrecy that is different than anything else. Wide-open yet multi-layered. Detailed and godly-put together without much thoughts. How it reflects on the culture and environment about the people living there speaks volumes. The passing of time and how crucial it is to our lives. It makes you think. It shows on everything”.
“Personally, there’s a power of appreciation I get from rooftops, A window in time”.
Eslam Abd El Salam is a Cairo-based photographer. He studied computer science and business management and developed an interest in photography through his childhood though he started participating 4 years ago through mobile photography that took him into the streets of Cairo, other cities in Egypt and of course his hometown, Suez.
Since December 2015, Eslam started to practice analogue format and currently he is working on personal projects about self-discovery attempting to answer personal questions that led him to volunteer with “St. Andrew’s Refugee Services” in an attempt to stretch his artistic muscles and be introduced to people from different backgrounds and stories where he can help as much as possible.
His latest project ‘River of Grass’ was exhibited in townhouse gallery in Cairo and in a presentation in Marseille. The project was part of an exchange program between Latvia and Cairo with Vika Eksta (his partner in the project.) It was a visual diary of the time he spent between Riga, Kuldiga and Cairo when Vika was doing her residency for three weeks. Now, he is working on two different projects, one of them tackling his relationship with his father and the other is a collaboration with a friend.
More of his work can be found on @eslamabdelsalam_
Here as well, photos taken by Menna at four different rooftops:Menna El Gedily, a 24 years old artist living in Cairo. She studied political science and is interested in photography and collage; often a recreation of her images.“I’m interested in Russian literature, Philosophy, European Cinema and traveling but my main passion is doing/making collage art and also collecting all kinds of stuff, mainly old found (books, magazines, shells, feathers.) last but not least, very fond of cats. Later on, I’d love to move forward with my practicing collage art and work on a children book of stories”.
More of her work can be found on @mennaelgedily
and here are some photos taken by Mahmoud Khattab
Mahmoud Khattab is a 26 years old photographer living in Cairo. He developed passion for photography as a tool to document events of the Arab Spring in 2011. Mahmoud is also a contributing member of Everyday Africa.
You can find more of Mahmoud Khattab’s work on @somewhereincairo