CHECK POINT M.A.

video, performance
NTFS, HD, sound, color
Marsa Alam,(Egypt) 2016

In my work “ Checkpoint M.A.” I refere to social and political situation in  the eastern-southern desert in Egypt. There is a touristic area called Marsa Alam . Because of the revolution and terrorist attacks, the military forces tightened the control of the whole area. It had been a military zone for a long time, before it turned to a diving resort, where investors developed hotel chains and touristic infrastructure. The place is famous for its reef and richness of the sea world. The fear caused by the political situation curbed the development of tourism and made it impossible for the investors to grow. Many hotels remained half empty. That saved the reef but on the other hand many people lost their jobs and left the place. The halt of the tourism industry preserved the nature and tradional life of the people, but caused economical problems. Nowadays we  find there huge abandoned construction sites. I tried to investigate why the construction work has stopped. Some people said the reason was revolution and some other  that it was because of corruption in the army. There is a long road of more than 300 km through the desert and only two small villages in between. Every 30-50 km we find single hotels. Bedouins used to live in the desert around. There is a camel market in the south. Between the hotels are military bases and it is prohibited to walk there. It is also not recommended for tourists to leave their resorts alone or take taxi. There are check points where the soldiers control every driver; and at the entrance of each hotel there is security control. It is also well known, that police stations and checkpoints are the main targets of terrorist attacks.

What does a progress mean in the context of the tourism industry and post-revolutionary  landscape in Egypt? The fear implanted by political powers into society especially through media ad social media -images is the best means of control. In my work I confront the representation of the reality with reality itself.