l tell you about a luxury: walking alone on the street. In any time of the day, to anywhere in your city, and without anyone. For women, this is a luxury. Especially in the Middle East. But ballerinas of Cairo challenge that! They are a source of inspiration for all the women in the Middle East!
The Ballerina Project
Dane Shitagi from Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the most famous names in the field of photography. He doesn’t limit himself to the studio setting, and uses the composition to create the texture of the city. After having lived and studied for a long time in New York he began to travel the world.
One of Dane Shitagi’s long-term works is The Ballerina Project. For over a decade, Shitagi photographed over a thousand ballerinas and reflected their unique aesthetic in the public space. Moreover, he did it by showing respect to bale, a discipline that brings art and sports together.
Let’s turn our direction to our own geography. Mohammed Taher of Cairo, Egypt, was inspired by Shitagi. After earning a master’s degree in film at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia; and gaining experience in New York, he returned to his home country. With the Ballerinas of Cairo project, he photographed ballerinas of Cairo. He brought women back to the public space and showed the world how did they take the streets back!
Mohammed Taher says that his aim was only aesthetic compositions at the beginning. However, in time, the project started to mean much more than that. In the harsh and male-dominant streets of Cairo, the ballerinas’ soft and feminine postures create a contrast that is worthy of admiration.
In the photos, the ballerinas of Cairo do not just dance and take the street back. Uneasy walks back home, hesitant looks around, preferring busy streets to avoid harassment… They take revenge on all of that! They stand against the intense harassment which in the streets of Egypt.
You may check the project by clicking here.
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This article is available in Turkish. Click here to take a look!