Faces of Cairo is a collection of photographs that take you on a tour of the land and its people, the streets, the markets, the African desert, and the path of history. Cairo is chaos at its most magnificent, infuriating and beautiful. From above, the distorted roar of the muezzins’ call to prayer echoes out from duelling minarets. Below, car horns bellow tuneless symphonies amid avenues of faded 19th-century grandeur, while donkey carts rattle down dusty lanes lined with colossal monuments. This city’s constant buzz is a product of its 30 million inhabitants, simultaneously stretching Cairo’s infrastructure, crushing it under their collective weight. The smog is heavy and car toots are overwhelming, but its energy is stimulating and exhilarating!
This diverse group of people serves as a timely reminder that, despite our many cultural differences, we can unite as a community through the power of photography. The collection is a celebration of our shared values: hard work, the importance of family and caring for each other as humans. I hope that through this portfolio viewers learn more about the Egyptian people. In sharing this portfolio, I encourage viewers to show empathy: to accept others and to recognise the value of cultural diversity. We would all experience an enhanced sense of community if we took the time to appreciate interactions that allow us to discover the world beyond our familiar boundaries. We are all wonderfully unique, yet, at the same time, we are deeply similar.
Titled Black, White & Colour, Ilan Wittenberg’s first exhibition featured portraiture, landscape and fine art. Faces of Jerusalem portfolio was exhibited at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in 2015. The Bare Truth series was exhibited at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney as well as the Signature Programme of the 2016 Auckland Festival of Photography. Ilan’s award-winning photo was chosen for the cover of D-Photo magazine together with a feature story: Faces of Morocco. From here to Africa – The Maasai people collection was exhibited at UXBRIDGE Gallery in early 2020. This documentary travel series was also exhibited at the 2020 Head On Photo Festival. Wittenberg’s Scape exhibition was featured at the 2020 Auckland Festival of photography Core programme while his most recent collection: Faces of Cairo was exhibited in Studio One gallery as part of the 2021 Auckland Festival of Photography.
Ilan is a judge in photo competitions. He is NZIPP 2020, 2018, 2016 & 2015 Auckland Photographer of the year. Wittenberg has a B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering and an M.B.A. in Information Technology.
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