A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

026 - Laura El Tantawy

Episode Summary

Laura El-Tantawy was born in Worcestershire, England to Egyptian parents and spent her childhood and early years in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Her photography, perhaps inevitably, is inspired by questions on her identity - exploring social and environmental issues pertaining to her background. In 2002, she started her career as a newspaper photographer in the USA with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and then the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. In 2006, she went freelance to pursue personal projects. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia with dual degrees in journalism and political science. She also has an MA in Art and Media Practice from the University of Westminster as well as a Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. Last year, in 2015, Laura published her first photobook, In The Shadow Of The Pyramids, a first person account exploring memory and identity which began in 2005 when she returned to Egypt out of a desire to reconnect with a country she felt she no longer knew in order to explore the essence of Egyptian identity in the hope of coming to terms with her own. The book was critically acclaimed and led to Laura being nominated for the 2016 Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize for which she is one of the four finalists. All 500 copies have sold out but you can still get yourself one the limited special editions, available from her website (link below) at £250. Not cheap, but an investment! In episode 26, Laura discusses: Formative experiences - Saudi & USA; discovering photography; a training in newspapers; having a day job; the origins of In The Shadow Of The Pyramids; a secret revealed: Cloudy mode!; visual literacy among the general population and the succes of the book

Episode Notes

Laura El-Tantawy was born in Worcestershire, England to Egyptian parents and spent her childhood and early years in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Her photography, perhaps inevitably, is inspired by questions on her identity - exploring social and environmental issues pertaining to her background. In 2002, she started her career as a newspaper photographer in the USA with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and then the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. In 2006, she went freelance to pursue personal projects. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia with dual degrees in journalism and political science. She also has an MA in Art and Media Practice from the University of Westminster as well as a Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. Last year, in 2015, Laura published her first photobook, In The Shadow Of The Pyramids, a first person account exploring memory and identity which began in 2005 when she returned to Egypt out of a desire to reconnect with a country she felt she no longer knew in order to explore the essence of Egyptian identity in the hope of coming to terms with her own. The book was critically acclaimed and led to Laura being nominated for the 2016 Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize for which she is one of the four finalists. All 500 copies have sold out but you can still get yourself one the limited special editions, available from her website (link below) at £250. Not cheap, but an investment! In episode 26, Laura discusses: Formative experiences - Saudi & USA; discovering photography; a training in newspapers; having a day job; the origins of In The Shadow Of The Pyramids; a secret revealed: Cloudy mode!; visual literacy among the general population and the succes of the book