Art Alert: Iran, Beyond Images photo exhibit and book discussion at Darb 1718
Ahram Online, Tuesday 9 Jun 2015
Photographer and travel writer Amr Badawy opens his exhibit Iran…Beyond Images at Darb 1718, and presents his book Couch Traveler in Iran

'The exhibit Iran…Beyond Images' is linked to Amr Badawy’s book titled Couch Traveler in Iran, which documents his journey across eight cities in the country.

Badawy has traveled to 40 countries throughout his life, but Iran is special for him as it is a country of conflict and a place many people avoid visiting, thanks to fears for their safety amid a tensed political environment.

He took it upon himself to experience the culture first-hand and challenge the stereotypes imposed on the country and the nature of people’s life there.

The book reads as a journal, presenting a mix of three aspects: sightseeing, history, and contemporary social life.

Badawy used the website Couch Surfing to find places to stay in Iran while experiencing the culture through its locals over the course of 20 days.

“I didn’t stay at any hotels, but at people’s homes, I watched how the people were living their life, and that’s the part that’s most interesting to me,” Badawy tells Ahram Online.

With Badawy writing about everything he encountered, including personal freedoms, religious boundaries, arts, architecture, the life of Christians, and history of wars, the exhibit offers scenes from the book.

Badawy is neither a professional photographer nor a writer.

“I actually work at a petrol company, and this is my hobby beside work. I’ve been taking photos for seven years but this is my first writing experience, as well as my first exhibit,” he says.

Badawy will present a talk about the book and the exhibit.

The exhibit opens 13 June at 7 pm and will run until 20 June
Darb 1718, Kasr El-Shama Street, Al-Fakhareen – Old Cairo