Egyptian photographer Nourhan Maayouf’s solo exhibition at Absa gallery in Johannesburg traces her journey and comments on contemporary Egyptian society. Her focus on a young woman’s struggle for independence in a conservative society provides a good idea of the country’s rich cultural architecture. In Egypt there is constant tension between the yearning for independence, particularly by the youth in a country struggling to preserve its rich heritage, which is increasingly being challenged by a wave of universal values fast encroaching on its cultural landscape. Using the medium of digital photography and video installation, Maayouf uses her body as the subject in this exhibition, which she conceptualised and produced while in Paris on a six-month residency. The residency is part of the prize in the influential Absa L’Atelier competition for young visual artists from SA and other African countries where the bank has a footprint.

Maayouf’s exhibition is titled The Sea is Closed...

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