Desert Cities by Manuel Álvarez Diestro
The objective of “Desert Cities” is to portray the construction of new developments in the desert on the outskirts of Egypt’s main cities including Cairo, Alexandria, Hurgada and Aswan.
The main focus has been placed on New Cairo in the Eastern part of Cairo, since it is the largest in scale and is intended to host millions of people.
This work emerged when the author decided to wander with a camera for a period of two years far from the Nile River. The photographs cover a territory that stretches along the boundary lines between the emerging cities and the desert, from Greater Cairo to Suez and the Mediterranean coast.
As a visual artist I wanted to concentrate at one level on the aesthetic values generated when a new city is built from scratch, and contrasting that with a strong emphasis on the alterations in the landscape’s topography.
Finally, I attempted through visual inputs to posit fundamental questions on how we are shaping the cities of the future.
As I once pointed out to Tomas Alcoverro from La Vanguardia newspaper in Spain, I wanted to portray through photography a new conquest of the desert by humanity in Cairo, the quintessential metropolis of the Middle East.