Boissonnas in Egypt Conference

TrAIN Recommends (external event)


Fred Boissonnas (1858-1946) was invited to Egypt in 1929 by King Fuad I to take photographs for the lavish publication L’Egypte (1932), and he returned to complete his Egyptian journey in 1933. During the later trip he embarked on a photographic expedition to Mount Sinai, following the route of the Israelites as recorded in the book of Exodus, and photographing the traditional biblical sites that he encountered on his journey. This work became the book project he never finished. The Boissonnas in Egypt exhibition focuses on the photographic work for both books, visually exploring the complex histories of the newly formed ‘modern’ state (following Britain’s unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence) and the photographer’s own search for inspiration in the deserts of Sinai.

The Boissonnas and Egypt conference will present different perspectives on the context of 1920s Egypt in relation to Boissonnas’s work and explore wider debates around photography and cultural geography.

Dr Estelle Sohier (Université de Genève)
Dr Ahmed Shams (Durham University)
Dr Christina Riggs (University of East Anglia)
Dr George Manginis (Benaki Museum)
Dr Kathleen Brunner (Independent Scholar)
Professor Oriana Baddeley (University of the Arts London TrAIN)

The conference will be followed by a private view of the exhibition from 17.30-19.30.


10.00 Arrival, tea & coffee
10.15 Welcome and introduction by Professor Oriana Baddeley
10.30 Dr George Manginis, ‘Into Cheltenham’ – On the Way to Mount Sinai
11.15 Dr Ahmed Shams, A Swiss Photographic Voyage
12.00 Dr Christina Riggs, Modern antiquity: Photography in 1920s Egypt
12.45 Panel discussion – Chair Prof. Oriana Baddeley
13.15 Lunch break
14.15 Dr Estelle Sohier, L’Egypte by Fred Boissonnas (1932): a Photographic Monument for the Egyptian Nation
15.00 Dr Kathy Brunner, Boissonnas’ Return to Egypt, the Unfinished Sinai Project
15.45 Tea & coffee
16.15 Professor Oriana Baddeley, Boissonnas, Modernity and the Aesthetics of the Wilderness
17.00 Panel discussion – Chair Ewelina Warner
17.30 Private view of Boissonnas in Egypt exhibition

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