Siwa festival in Egypt
one of the most exotic festivals in the Sahara desert
by Pavel Gospodinov
The Siwa festival takes place at the Egyptian oasis of Siwa, located approximately 900 km to the southwest of Cairo, during the full moon in October. The history of this celebration spans more than 150 years. In many primitive agrarian societies, disputes over land and water usage were common since protocols for sharing these finite resources were seldom established. After numerous disputes and discussions, Ahmed Madani, a Sufi from the Madanya clan, finally instilled peace by ordering all Siwan men to attend a meeting in the mountain village of Dakrour, not far from Siwa.
For me, photography is a search for the real and the genuine. Trams, cars, thoughts, experiences, planes, the street … life … all of it moves at a rabid pace, making it seem like moments of self-awareness are few and far between. The woman in Alexandria who was skinning a rabbit right in the street really was there and really did look at me before continuing her task without uttering a single word. When I look at that picture now, I know that this woman is genuine, that I was there and that I looked into her eyes. It is not as though any of this has any meaning in the grand scheme of things, but for the sake of my own consciousness and my bond with the world around me it is quite significant; it makes me alive and compels me to smile!