Cairo’s first photo marathon was also the first photo marathon in whole the Middle East, and it took place on January 15, 2011. My photographs won the grand prize of the event (12 hour run, taken with an iPhone 3) and the subsequent exhibition opened on May 3 at CiC Contemporary Image Collective in Downtown Cairo.
The concept behind the photo marathon as such is originally a Danish idea; the first edition took place in Copenhagen in 1989. The Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) and International Media Support (IMS) collaborated with a number of local Egyptian cultural institutions in organizing this pilot event that ran for two simultaneous phases of 6 and 12 hours, challenging photo enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals to interpret a set of playful and idiomatic themes surrounding issues of gender in the city, composed by writer, storyteller and comedian Motaz Attala. The event was initiated by Muna Bur and coordinated by Bur and Osama Dawod.
The competition took place again in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Its scope expanded under the name Egypt Photo Marathon and reached the cities of Alexandria, Aswan, Port Said, Minya, Assiut, Mansoura, Sohag, and Hurghada. In 2018, the Tri-City Photo Marathon took place simultaneously in Cairo, Copenhagen, and Ramallah.
These are the winning images and their corresponding themes: