591 Exhibition: Roman Kutzowitz - The Zabaleen
When Roman and I settled a date for this exhibition I could not imagine that Cairo would be the center of a poular uprising and the focus of news media all over the world. Watching the scenes from Tahrir Square in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt has taught me a lot about the courage and dignity of the people of this country. The Zabaleen by Roman Kutzowitz is a remarkable story about the power and creativity of people living in one of the megacities of the world. - Mr Urbano
This Photosequence was produced in co-operation with the Zabaleen (Arabic: Garbage people) of the Neighborhood Al Moqatam in the squatter settlement Manschiyet Nasser, Cairo.The Al Moqattam settlement (also known as Garbage City) houses most of Egypts Coptic christian community, who for the last 70-80 years have collected, sorted, recycled or reprocessed most of Cairo’s Garbage.
Though faced with a Poverty, Marginalisation, Poor hygenic and living conditions, the Zabaleen entrepeneurs have developed a highly efficient recycling process, recycling about 85 percent of the garbage in comparison to 20-25 percent most western companies recycle.
Since several NGOs have established community and enviromental projects in Al Moqattam, the situation is improving in some aspects and the Zabaleen have gained worldwide recognition for their creativity and resourcefulness. Necessity has given way for a social experiment in self organisation without state control, but has also strengthened repressive norms.
Roman Kutzowitz is a Documentary Photographer from Berlin, Germany currently travelling the globe seeking out and being found by stories,images,fragments,people.
Educated at the University of Arts Berlin in Fine Arts Photography, Postcolonial studies, Art History and Critical Theory; graduating with a Masters in 2010 he's seeking out critical and experimental approaches to documentary photography.
Photos, text © Roman Kutzowitz
Website: Flare and Ghost