the play of time and place in osama esid‘s images become like postcards of a distant adventurous relative to me. apart from their obvious nostalgic appeal, they are actually a very insightful glimpse into contemporary middle eastern identities. my favorite series of his work is the ‘cairo street workers’ with their uniform but dissociative backdrop; a deliberate stage created to blur the context further while ironically certain anachronistic elements remain visible reminders of their contemporary nature. i fell in love with the work’s exotic transportive qualities, and naturally i was totally touched by his sensitive autobiographic explanation of his photographic style:

“As a child I was frightened by the images from my family photo album. I was unable to understand the images of people with piercing eyes and of blurred children. Most frightening of all was the thought those people lived in a world that had lost its colors. In 1977, a new form of photograph appeared, square and colorful, in the family photo album. For my father, it was the instant gratification of the Polaroid camera that made him so happy. For me, the Polaroid brought the answer of knowing where the colors came from. But it also raised another question. ‘How did the colors get inside?’ This became my interest in technical photography. Still feeling that colored pictures embodied happiness, I began to hand color my black and white images. I guess it was my way of giving happiness to those people who lived in that world that lost its colors.”