Wind and Water

Egypt-Based Photographer Jakob von Fircks Portraits the Landscapes and People of South Sinai

In a vivid series that captures the seaside area of Ras Abu Galum, in South Sinai, Egypt, photographer Jakob von Fircks reveals the inhabitants and striking scenery that the region has to offer. As a photographer who likes to ‘find simplicity in the chaos and chaos in simplicity’, the drama of the landscapes are often accentuated in his pieces, whilst stillness and serenity often emanates from his human subjects.

Jakob’s series, Wind and Water, concentrates on the slow paced lifestyle of the Bedouins in Ras Abu Gallum, who live between the mountains and the sea. The photographs reveal another side of Egypt, beyond its portrayal as a mass tourism destination or the negative political media coverage. The people featured in the series are from one of the biggest Bedouin tribe, the Ben Aatyeg.

Jakob forms one half of the duo that makes up Bluestreets, a new online gallery for artists from diverse backgrounds and origins who find inspiration in urban art. We asked Jakob more about his work:

The Plus: Why South Sinai?
Jakob von Fircks:
The Sinai is like the wild west of Egypt, many things work outside the governmental structures and rules. At the same time, the tribal culture and Arabic hospitality is providing the traveller that manages to go beyond the touristic infrastructure with a unique experience.

TP: Your online gallery, Bluestreets, focuses on urban art. Could you describe the street art culture of Egypt for people that have never visited?
Street art in Egypt really kicked off following the revolution of January 2011, as an answer to the biased state controlled media that tried to control public opinion. Street art was the way to express newly gained freedom and aspirations of youth and is therefore often very political and always carries strong messages.

TP: What is your current project?
I am still working on a photographic journey from Quito, Ecuador to Bogota, Colombia by bus. My next project is a portrait of the life, rituals and daily routine in some of the most historic mosques in Cairo.