audience exploring photo exhibition during el gouna photo week

A media storm has been buzzing since the mega success of El Gouna Photo Week’s 1st edition. From the 16th to the 23rd of July, the sensational event organised in partnership with Photopia has left photography fanatics and visual artists in a whirlwind of excitement and we’re here to round up the most iconic moments. 

Red Sea Fresh Edition  

Predicated by the renowned Cairo Photo Week with hundreds of speakers and over 8000 attendees including international Ambassadors of states, El Gouna Photo Week had big shoes to fill but exceeded expectations.   

“The event is a wonderful opportunity to showcase diversity in photography. It allows us to experience each other’s work and learn from one another’s skill, which is deeply inspiring” Ahmed El Morsy.  

El Gouna’s first edition was tailored to our unique destination, with a collection of incredible workshops targeting different photography genres from food photography, styling, to architecture & fashion.  

*Photo By: Omar Zain

Through the Lens 

At the welcoming TUB Audimax, an impressive line-up of industry icons held captivating talks, capturing the magic of what they do and sharing invaluable tips on just how they do it!  

Then there were the photo walks. Artists like the iconic Karim El Hayawan led more than 30 aficionados across the streets of El Gouna in a phenomenal spectacle. The experience sent goosebumps of delight! 

Live demos were a hit, including the sports photography session led by none other than Omar Zain. He demonstrated many unique concepts in his work including authenticity and motion play.   

*Photo By: Sarah Heikal

Picture Perfect 

A series of remarkable exhibitions showcased some of the most touching photos with breath-taking concepts, including Victory of Some Sort and Mahmoud Hawari’s Sard: Humans of Upper Egypt featuring incredible shots from across Egypt’s south. 

In Karim El Hayawan’s Sard: Between Here and Elsewhere, the artist spent 3 years documenting beautiful snaps of carpets donated to mosques all over Egypt, each carrying the footsteps and scents of the homes they once lived. A surreal concept capturing random lives coming together.  

As part of the Sard: Upper Egypt Edition, El Gouna supported 9 deserving photographers from across Upper Egypt, by exhibiting their work at the TUB for an unparalleled exposure, and purchasing one photo from each of their visual stories.  

*Photo By: Eslam El Awadi

Astounding Reception  

The week was a major success for all. Speakers and instructors didn’t hold back on their positive feedback, gushing about how they enjoyed the turn out because it increased the chances for and quality of interaction with “people who were incredibly sincere. It was positive for artists as it was for attendees” Salma El Kashef.  

The educational and cultural identity of El Gouna Photo Week was a breathable reality. Most impactful was the unique location, which nurtured the week’s cultural and educational value. Here, instructors felt the destination created “a sensational incubating mood, inspiring passionate artists and immersing them with people who had a real interest and intention to be there” Coucla Refaat.  

To celebrate, we opened 14 locations around El Gouna including exclusive venues like stunning La Maison Bleue and Casa Cook. Photographers enjoyed a unique opportunity to grow their talents and show us El Gouna through their eyes.  

El Gouna: A Mood Board Made in Heaven 

Our town is a natural playground for creatives; a one-of-a-kind destination bustling with potential. Architecture, interior design, sports, food, lifestyle, fashion, cinema, travel: El Gouna’s visual buffet makes it an absolute heaven for photographers.   

After a wildly successful first edition, El Gouna holds high hopes for future Photo Weeks. Besides showcasing its endless photoshoot and cinematic possibilities, new standards have been set for El Gouna’s cultural and educational potential “with many artists eagerly anticipating the next edition” Shank. Maintaining this authentic identity will transform the event into a regional event of great mentorship potential.  

el gouna photo week speakers

Samaa Ayman

Samaa Ayman

Sam Ayman is a Rowayat award winning writer, academic consultant and one very proud mama bear. In 2015 she moved to El Gouna, inspired by its incomparable charm and unique identity. Besides raising her little Gounie Roman Pharaoh, Sam enjoys messing up her kitchen and pretending to workout. After years of publishing short works and stories, her debut novel The King's Debt was released in 2019. The gripping thriller explores social dynamics and gender issues through several feminist perspectives.

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