Rehab Eldalil wins the 2022 FotoEvidence W Award

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Rehab Eldalil wins the 2022 FotoEvidence W Award
Photo: Rehab Eldalil.

NEW YORK, NY.- Rehab Eldalil was selected as the winner of the 2022 FotoEvidence W Award with her project The Longing of the Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken. She was selected by the jury, Elizabeth Krist, Martina Bacigalup, Tasneem Alsultan and Svetlana Bachevanova from among 70 applicants from 26 countries. The finalists are September Dawn Bottoms with Remember September and Zehreh Sabaghnejad with Dancing in the Dust.

The Longing Of The Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken is a personal project in which I reconnect to my roots and work collaboratively with the Bedouin community to explore the notion of belonging and the disconnectedness of people and land.

The project focuses on the process of finding and seeking the meaning of belonging cited through the Bedouin community of South Sinai, Egypt. The community are participants in the creative process. I’m using their commentary of embroidery, poetry, sound and storytelling to link my photographic work with topics of representation and social injustice. The final outcome is a complementary collection of photographs, embroidery, artifacts, poetry and multimedia.

Bedouins of Sinai survived wars, colonialism, drought, and pandemics. But like many indigenous communities, they are commonly misrepresented in the media, portrayed as isolated from, and a threat to, modern society. And struggling to secure civil rights. Throughout it all, they remain the keepers of the land, protecting it from harm as it provides them with blessings in return. This interconnectedness, forged over the centuries, accounts for the community’s resilience in the face of challenges. And it’s this interconnectedness which survived in my blood and drew me back to find my roots and way home. This project has been my opportunity to process my estranged Bedouin ancestry.

Rehab Eldalil is a documentary photographer and visual storyteller born and currently based in Cairo, Egypt. Her work focuses on the broad theme of identity explored through participatory creative practices. She received her photography BA from Helwan University in Cairo in 2011 shortly after participating in the Jan25 Egyptian revolution for which she co-authored a photobook called The Road To Tahrir documenting the revolution’s early weeks. In addition to developing personal long term projects, she has been working with NGOs and publications documenting human rights issues in Egypt. During her time teaching photography at the American University in Cairo between 2013-2015, she began her research on collaborative lens based approaches and representation in visual storytelling. She received her photography MA from Falmouth University in the UK in 2020. Reconnecting to her Bedouin ancestry, she co-founded Catherine Exists; a volunteer-based community center that empowers Bedouin communities in South Sinai and provides medical services.

Her long-term project The Longing Of The Stranger Whose Path Has Been Broken was shortlisted for PH museum grant 2021, 6 Mois Photojournalism award 2021, Philip Jones awards 2021, Marilyn Stafford award 2021 and Catchlight fellowship 2020. She was awarded AFAC & Magnum Foundation’s Arab Documentary Photography Program 2020, National Geographic Society’s Emergency grant for Journalists 2020 and Creative Activism award 2021. Most recently, she graduated from the International Centre of Photography one year program.

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