Laura El-Tantawy is a British-Egyptian documentary photographer who has studied across 4 different countries; this multidimensionality influences her work as she explores the notions of home and belonging, often aiming to produce socially engaged, unique and thought-provoking work.
In the Shadow of the Pyramids is one of her photographic series, where she travelled to Egypt in 2005, after her Grandmother passed away, and began understanding the complexity of the country and her identity. She focused on observing her family, the country and how her own search of her identity became parallel with Egypt’s own struggle for identity. The body of work spanned from 2005-2014, in which time she captured the chaos of the revolution which overtook the nation.
El-Tantawy’s work directed my ways in thinking of how the politics of one country can parallel with its citizens and diaspora. For example, due to the sectarian government in Lebanon, there are many civil outbreaks against one another based on your religion, sect or political party, in most cases a sect is represented by a political party. This has caused many issues across the nation, and rather than identifying as ‘Lebanese’ you will be identified by one of the aforementioned groups; this can be figured out simply by your family name, ID card or the area you live in.