Egyptian images from Australia

Project Summary

7 September 2018

  • Sector: Building Cultural Understanding / Society and Culture
  • Country location: Australia, Egypt
  • Grantee: Ms Anne-Marie Willis
Photo of people walking around with umbrellas in a town.
‘Cairo Railway Station’ (Ramses Station), c.1916, photo by J.F. Smith of the 7th Light Horse in Egypt and Palestine. Credit: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Project description

There are thousands of historical photos of Egypt in Australia that have never been seen in Egypt.

The photos were taken during the First and Second World Wars when Australian troops were based in Egypt, and preserved in the collections of the Australian War Memorial, and the State and National Libraries. Yet, their subject matter goes beyond the military, and they can have a new purpose for contemporary Egyptians. There are streetscapes, landscapes, antiquities, portraits, images of work, trades and farming that show how familiar places have changed over time, revealing contrasts and continuities between past and present. Locations include Cairo, Heliopolis, Giza, Alexandria, Suez, Dabba, Mersa Matrouh and Aswan. An exhibition of selected photos will be shown in Cairo and Alexandria, involving collaboration with photography and design educators from Egyptian universities. The exhibition will include a photographic competition on the theme of linking past and present. This will be the basis of a follow-up exhibition and visit by Egyptians to Australia, in collaboration with the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture at the University of Adelaide (CAMEA). The curator is Anne-Marie Willis, a photographic historian and design researcher who has worked in Egypt over the last four years.

Key dates

  • Exhibition: Palace of Amir Taz in Islamic Cairo 14 to 28 February 2019
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Alexandria 5 to 14 March 2019
  • Exhibition: State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, 11 July to 4 August 2019

  • Council for Australian-Arab Relations grant offer: $30,000
  • Total project value: $92,220
Last Updated: 19 July 2019