Four Nights in Cairo
Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 uprising that toppled former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, erupted in demonstrations again this month. Violent clashes between protesters and police began on Thursday, January 24th, the eve of the two-year anniversary, and continue in Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The protesters targets run the gamut this time around: Egypt's current leader, President Mohamed Morsi; the Muslim Brotherhood; the new Constitution; the police; the army; and violence itself. Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy likes to shoot in low light, coaxing a more subtle perspective from the tear gas, mayhem and rolling disquiet. These images were shot between Jan. 25th and Jan. 28th, 2013.
Protesters throw rocks at police in Cairo on Saturday, Jan. 26th - one day after the second anniversary of the 2011 revolution that broke former president Mohamed Hosni Mubarak's 30-year grip on power. Clashes and large street demonstrations persist in the capital as some call for the fall of the current government and its leader, President Mohamed Morsi, and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.
A tear gas canister explodes on a street near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
Members of Egypt's Presidential Guard take position outside the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Friday, Jan. 25th, as demonstrators take to the streets.
Two men try to flee tear gas as clashes in the Egyptian capital continued into the night on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
Onlookers wear medical face masks to fend off tear gas as clashes between protesters and police stretch late into the night on Friday, Jan. 25th.
Protesters are silhouetted through a cloud of tear gas as clashes between protesters and police persist in an area along the River Nile near Tahrir Square on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
A young Egyptian protester shouts down police using tear gas against demonstrators near Mohamed Mahmoud Street in central Cairo on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
Members of Egypt's central security forces take position on the rooftop of a building on a street near Tahrir Square as police fire tear gas on Saturday, Jan. 26th.
An Egyptian man wears a medical face mask to fend off the effects of tear gas as clashes between protesters and police continue for the second day in a row near Tahrir Square on Sunday, Jan. 27. Some protestors believe large fires help reduce the effects of tear gas.
Crowds of onlookers gather on Cairo's 6th October Bridge, a main highway, to watch as clashes between protesters and police continue late into the night on Friday, Jan. 25th.
A near-empty street in central Cairo on Saturday, Jan. 26th. Persistent clashes between police and protesters have left the area around Tahrir Square uncharacteristically quiet.
A lone man seen through remnants of a cloud of tear gas on a highway ramp in Cairo on Friday, Jan. 25th as protesters battled police near Maspero, the state TV building.
Protesters seen through a fire on a street off Tahrir Square on Jan. 25th.
A group of protesters gather around a policeman captured during ongoing clashes between demonstrators and central security forces near Tahrir Square on Monday, Jan. 28th. The policeman was later released.
A protester takes a break in central Cairo on Monday, Jan. 28th. Instability persists across various Egyptian cities for the fourth day in a row, with many demonstrators calling of the government to step down.
Laura El-Tantawy is an Egyptian photographer living between Cairo and London, currently represented by VII Mentor Program. She was born in Worcestershire, England, to Egyptian parents and grew up between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 2002, El-Tantawy started her career as a newspaper photographer at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in the United States. In 2006, she turned freelance to pursue several personal projects, then became one of 15 young international photographers to participate in Reflexions Masterclass, a two-year photography seminar directed by renowned Italian photographer Giorgia Fiorio and French curator Gabriel Bauret. In 2010, she was awarded a six-month fellowship at the University of Oxford to write about freedom of expression in Egypt and the role played by Internet blogging and independent newspapers in pushing the boundaries of free speech. In 2013, she will be taking part in the 4th edition of the Northern Lights MasterClass, an educational program for documentary photographers powered by the Noorderlicht Foundation in the Netherlands. El-Tantawy is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a dual degree in journalism and political science.