Vincent Battesti does not work for any company, consult, or hold shares in, or receive funds from any organization or company which could benefit from this piece, and has not disclosed any affiliations other than their academic one.
Egypt is a popular tourist destination well-known for its archaeological sites, beautiful natural beauty, and its ancient civilization. However, there is a lot of fascination even in the most mundane of locations, such as an uncommon form of wall art that is common in Egyptian apartments and small business.
They are not exactly photographs, but the posters depict photoshopped images of a variety of natural settings or architectural styles that are different, set in strange ways. The made-in-Egypt mandhar tabiei also known as “natural landscapes” – which vary in sizes ranging from tiny, 50-by-35-cm frames to wallpaper-scaled, reveal an especially Egyptian style of exoticism.
The posters in this article are from my fieldwork in Cairo and were which I bought for a couple of Egyptian dollars (less than US$1). The idealized images are displayed throughout the country, including in private spaces inside cafes, restaurants, coffee shops hairdressers, as well as in urban and rural areas, but they are particularly prevalent in the desert Sinai rural areas, Libyan desert and west Mediterranean coast.
A lighthouse sourced from Scandinavia adds a touch of sophistication to this 2009 poster. Maktaba al-Mahaba/Vincent Batti Author supplied
The posters portray a form that is “exotic” and not centred on regular date palms, flat fields, and boring sand dunes, all of which are commonly employed in travel brochures to draw tourists to Egypt. Instead, they portray an aesthetic that is more local, which is distinct from Western standards.
Nature’s Photoshop artisans
At first, I believed the posters were low-cost Chinese products that were aimed at a specific Egyptian market. They are actually created and manufactured in the Shubra neighborhood of Cairo or in the suburbs nearby. Maktaba al-Mahaba, a major Coptic Christian bookstore (mktb@ LMHb@ LQBTY@) distributes their catalogues throughout Egypt (and probably across in the North Africa region, as I’ve noticed ads located in Tunisia’s Jerid oasis as well as in Morocco’s Rif). Moroccan Rif).
The primary design tool used for these Egyptian cut-and-paste designs is Photoshop (or an equivalent software). The artisans demonstrate great proficiency of pasting, fusion blurring, cropping duplication, and other techniques using their computer screens three-dimensional pictures which encompass all the best features of the different continents, even if this means impossible coexistences and real problems with scale.
Although humans are not common in these posters, in this case we see the well-known Copt saint Tamav Irene (1936-2006) and the Pope Papa Cyril VI (1902-1971). Maktaba al-Mahaba/Vincent battesti, The author has of the poster.
The craftsmen in Maktaba al-Mahaba shoppe. Maktaba al-Mahaba shoppe, who aren’t afraid to serve members of the Christian population through the printing of Jesus Christ or the late Pope Shenouda III in these quaint surroundings, surely have got the Coptic iconographic expertise that is behind the shop’s constant creation of sacred images of the triumphant saints, generous monks and popes, as well as suffering martyrs.
Christs, snow, rainforests and Chinese pagodas
The water is everywhere in these posters, and its presence is almost as if it is required by customers. It could be a lake or lake, a river (sometimes with a fantastical route) or obviously, those intricate fountains.
The third requirement is greenery and a dazzling array of florals, regardless of agronomic, botanical or ecological incongruities or the impossibilities. The posters are brimming with garden-themed images, leaving an open sky, but not much space for animals or human beings.
Architectural elements not only reflect Islamic designs (columns or ceramics) but also styles alien to Egypt and other countries, like Californian Villas Chinese pagodas as well as Scandinavian lighthouses. Other exotic landscapes include photographs from snow-covered Swiss mountain ranges with waterfalls from the equatorial region, which are framed by Versailles’s palace Versailles or any other Renaissance-style structure, as well as Islamic lakes with beautiful flowers – and maybe the ice floe or yacht to the left.
Sometimes, we see a photograph expansion of an English garden in its fall glory. However, generally speaking, the natural environment isn’t enough, and the desire for exoticism prevails.
How can you define exoticism? What is ‘natural’?
The posters are widely displayed in Egypt and offer a visual treat in local and gas stations. restaurants. In Siwa which is a remote oasis within Egypt’s Libyan deserts of Egypt I saw posters within their the marbuea (living space) of homes.