again Cairo chairs

Some time ago I posted some pics by a Dutch photographer fascinated by the chairs on Cairo streets. Turns out he is not the only one:

We are David Puig and Manar Moursi, authors of Sidewalk Salon: 1001 Street Chairs of Cairo, a unique photographic documentation of original street chair designs that dot the sidewalks of Cairo and create an alternate portrait of the city through their lens.

We first took notice of the street chairs of Cairo in 2011, walking on Port Said Avenue, which straddles the city from North to South. “A funny thing about a chair: you hardly ever think it’s there”, the American poet Theodore Roethke once wrote. And yet that day, all of a sudden, those street chairs were there. Not one or two of them, isolated, but one after the other creating some kind of invisible thread along the sidewalk.

Repaired, stitched and embellished, those chairs age graciously despite being constantly on duty outdoors. The curiosity triggered by these common objects made us realize how essential they were to the everyday life of people who spend a considerable amount of time on the sidewalk. We realized we could understand Cairo and tell some of its stories from the perspective of those street chairs. 

Over the past 3 years we’ve collected more than a 1000 Polaroid images of the street chairs of Cairo as well as interviews with their owners. We’ve commissioned fiction and poetry inspired by street chairs to award winning writers from the city. In the past few months we’ve gone through a rigorous process of selecting and arranging those images in a book format. We have been working with the very talented Dutch Graphic Designer Sandra Kassenaar to create the visual identity of our book. Preview the book here:

Check out the crowdfunding site. These people know how to market a project.


About roger henke

Still figuring out the story line that would satisfy myself here. Listening to what my family and friends evoke, what the words I absorb, the images that move me, the movements that still me, point to.
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