Hana Gamal is an Egyptian Photographer and Visual Artist, born and raised in Cairo, that doesn’t fail to make you feel and think with her art. She has a special relationship with her introspective self and her photography has a way of freeing the soul of the one captured.
Her journey began in 2011, and since then, photography has become her voice and greatest passion. Hana’s visual approach consists of a fusion of anthropological and psychological elements.
Being deeply sensitive, emotional by nature and passionate about psychology, poetry and visual art, her work ventures deep into the chaotic, complex, and poetic inner world of the human soul interconnected with the outer world, our perception of it and its impact on us – the inner world of meaning and the outer world of appearances, two worlds flow and become one.
Hana is a recipient of AAF X PHmuseum Prize. A member of both Women Photograph and African Photojournalism database, a joint project between Everyday Africa and World Press Photo.A contributing Photographer to Everyday Egypt (as part of The Everyday Projects).
Her art has been featured in various local and international publications; and exhibited in a number of galleries and biennales in London, Paris, Rotterdam, Dubai, Sharjah Addis Ababa, Morocco, and Beirut.
We declare ourselves forever impressed with her talent and inner beauty! We invite you to read her interview and get a glimpse into her soul. Maybe you will feel as inspired as we did!
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR SOUL SING? WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Sunsets and dancing. I’ve always loved dancing, I think it is one of the most beautiful and liberating human expressions.
A CHILDHOOD STORY THAT ANNOUNCED THE CREATIVE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY
My teachers in school would always complain to my mother in the parents’ meeting that I never pay attention in class. Honestly, they were right. I couldn’t pay attention for longer than 10 minutes and then I completely space out… daydream and doodle; which drove my teachers crazy. Guess I’ve always been a dreamer.
BEST CONTEXT EVER FOR INSPIRATION WAS
Music music music!
Music has always been part of my life. it’s my inspiration and consolation. The best lover and constant companion through all my ups and downs; Also, those who know me well, know my obsession with Leonard Cohen’s music. I admire his poetry and see my life in his music… he inspires me in so many ways, which makes me grateful that such art exists.
THE PROJECT YOU LOVED MOST
We’re all fugitives– This will always be the closest project to my heart. It’s a five-year project that was born purely out of personal experiences and an intense longing to express certain feelings. It came from a really genuine and vulnerable place. A desire for connection and comfort, and to understand things beyond how they seem. All the works are a reflection of a multilayered journey that is both introspective and retrospective. It’s a journey of reconciliation – an end of road but not the final destination.
THE PROJECT OTHERS LOVED MOST
I would have to say again We’re all fugitives. It was exhibited in a number of galleries and biennales in different countries and the feedback and support have been incredible. It resonated with people from all walks of life. Somehow, everyone felt a connection with this series – and for that, I am truly grateful. I guess we really are all fugitives.
THE BEST THING ABOUT EGYPTIAN CREATIVITY IS
That it is endless.
BEST STATEMENT OF EGYPTIAN HUMOR
Egyptian humor is unbeatable. I recently saw something written on a TokTok and loved it.
“Where was the no, when we said yes?” | “Konti feen ya La2 lama olna Ah”
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL HEADHUNTERS, RELATED TO EGYPTIAN CREATIVES
Egypt is full of incredibly talented and passionate artists. You just need to look and work more on finding them.
BEST PLACE IN CAIRO
Downtown. It reminds me of everything beautiful, and everything that isn’t, once was, and everything that never was, one day will be.
BEST PLACE IN EGYPT
Difficult question. Egypt is a really beautiful country with a rich history and culture. So many places to see and explore; and we have the most beautiful beaches in the world. No joke. My favorite place would be the North Coast.
MOST DISTURBING CLICHÉ ABOUT EGYPT, IN THE MEDIA OUTLETS OF THE WORLD IS
That it is nothing but a desert and camels!
EGYPT SHOULD BE KNOWN FOR
Its diverse art and culture.
YOUR VIEWS ON SPIRITUALITY
There is a poem by Paulo Coelho that speaks to my soul and so eloquently expresses my views on spirituality:
Every Warrior of Light has felt afraid of going into battle.
Every Warrior of Light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone.
Every Warrior of Light has trodden a path that was not his.
Every Warrior of Light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons.
Every Warrior of Light has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of Light.
Every Warrior of Light has failed in his spiritual duties.
Every Warrior of Light has said ‘yes’ when he wanted to say ‘no.’
Every Warrior of Light has hurt someone he loved.
That is why he is a Warrior of light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.
YOUR VIEWS ON MONEY
Money is essential to survive. Yet, money shouldn’t control us. It shouldn’t take over us. You leave it where it belongs.
AN INSPIRATION SOURCE YOU RECOMMEND FOR A YOUNG CREATIVE
The book of disquiet by Fernando Pessoa,On the Road by Jack Kerouac and of course, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
AN EGYPT BASED FEMALE TALENT THAT DESERVES TO BE PROMOTED AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, AS EXPONENT OF LOCAL CREATIVE SPIRIT
Amal Salah, an exceptional artist & mother.
If you want to see more of Hana Gamal’s art and the way she makes photos speak for themselves, you can check everything out here: