23 December 2019

In Search of Catharsis on the Streets of Cairo, Egypt

23 December 2019 - Written by PhMuseum

In her work We’re All Fugitives, Hana Gamal – one of the AAF x PHmuseum Prize winners – looks to reflect upon notions of home and belonging with a black and white stream of consciousness that follows both her physical and inner exploration.

For years I have been roaming Cairo’s streets, spending time with strangers, entering their homes, attending their weddings, losing and finding myself in their lives; with endless inquisitions, open wounds, and a constant search for home. Like a fugitive.

After witnessing all the change that has been happening in Egypt, and undergoing so many changes in my personal life as well, I began to question the concept of change, home and belonging; and this is when my real journey began. To the other, the elsewhere, the beyond.

Throughout my journey, I wouldn’t claim that I have found all the answers I was searching for, but I have realised that I am not alone. We are all running away from something, or maybe searching for something. We are all fugitives. Fugitives from what has been, what is, and what is yet to be; fugitives from lost hopes and dreams; hidden scars and wounds; fugitives from melancholic memories; fugitives from unpalatable realities; fugitives from our fears, from the void; fugitives from love; fugitives from our lives, and maybe ourselves too.

We are all fugitives in a constant search for home; because home is never a place, it’s a feeling. Herman Hesse once said, “We have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.”

This series of photographs is the journey of my soul for the past few years, driven by a desire to connect and an equally strong desire to withdraw.

Words and Pictures by .


Hana Gamal is an Egyptian photographer and visual artist based in Cairo. Hana's visual approach is an anthropological/psychological one. 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 state of being projected onto a physical reality. Find her on PHmuseum and Instagram.


This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PHmuseum curators.

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