It was once said that great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field, a quote that could not be better applied but within the frames of Egyptian photographer Romany Hafez’s captured moments, which are showcased in his latest exhibitions ‘Memorabilia Paraphernalia’.
Entering inside Zamalek’s Picasso Art Gallery, is more like into stepping into a nostalgic chamber, where people are surrounded with black and white memories of both themselves and Hafez’s. In his second solo photography exhibition, Hafez unlocks a window to showcase the memories of places, people, and even himself, allowing people to dig deeper into the places where memories are shaped and shared.
The photography exhibition opened its door to the public on Sunday, with dozens of black and white frames that were captured in Siwa, Aswan, and Hungary and will run until 6 December.
“Paraphernalia is the obsession of collecting things, and my obsession is to collect and document memories, that is why I could not find any better name but this to entitle the exhibition” Hafez told Daily News Egypt
Hafez’s main passion is the visual ideas he experienced in a place while capturing photographs or the memories of those people who are captured in a photo, “that is why all of the showcased photographs are timeworn places, or alleys in which I lived a memory, even though they might not be familiar to all people,” he explained.
In his visual portraits, Hafez mostly presents people deeply looking towards the audience or the viewer, with confident gazes, humble appearances, and steady feet. As for the landscapes, he focuses on long narrow roads with antiquated used objects most of the time. The exhibition saw the light as a result of 15-years of a professional photography passion.
He believes that memories leave their mark inside one’s soul, and he aims to feature them through his work.
Producing only black and white photographs is another passion Hafez has.
“When you want to speak about memories, nothing is more beautiful than black and white shades. These two colours add a sense of nostalgia to your thoughts, leaving people the space to colour the scenes and memories with the colours they want and feel are more suitable,” he explained
Hafez also added that the easiest thing in this world is to capture a photo with various colourful shades. “Yet, the real challenge is to memorise a strong moment, in black and white and let it speak for itself, like a strong, heart-capturing, concise quote,” he said.
Some of the showcased photographs, capture high-speed trains, and moving people.
Hafez explained that in such images he aims to compare between moving memories and the stable ones carved in one’s mind.
“When trains pass by me, I always like to think that it’s carrying many people inside of it, each with his own memories. So, while I am standing still, many people’s stories come across mine without even them knowing or recognising this,” he commented.
The photos were taken in Siwa, Aswan, and Hungary, as they are the three places closest to Hafez’s heart with many memories shared in them.
“I came across several people who also share with me the fact that these three places are very special to us. So, I documented the place for both them and myself,” he concluded.
All photos taken by Ahmed Hindawy