2021-01-22

CAÏRO - Can you love a dictatorship? Well, no, but the Belgian journalist Ruth Vandewalle does not want to leave Egypt after more than ten years. Ten years after Tahrir, she goes looking for answers among her Egyptian friends. Their solution: create your own reality.

What began ten years ago in Cairo's Tahrir Square as an uprising for democratic freedoms, fought for by the youth, has turned into more repression. The young people in their twenties have shifted the battlefield to their own lives. In #thisisegypt2 Ruth Vandewalle follows her friends who are all searching for their own way to independence within the limitations of the police state that Egypt is. A documentary about adapting, thinking back and ignoring, in a country where 'just doing your thing' has been elevated to an art form.

Amna is a national champion rower, Youssra an accordionist and Sadat a rapper and founder of the revolutionary Mahraganat music (Egyptian electronic dance). They build their own oases, where they can do whatever they want. To do so, they have to learn to ignore the world of repression and social control. Ruth, too, learned to navigate between the limitations of life in a dictatorship. But small personal revolutions are taking place behind closed doors, and they give her hope. #thisisegypt2 makes these changes visible.

Photo: ©Stef Tijdink

Ruth Vandewalle

Ruth Vandewalle finished her master's degree Middle East Studies and Arabic in Cairo, where she is based since 2009. She started working as a news producer during the Arab Uprisings in 2011. Since then she has covered the news from all over the Middle East, producing numerous reportages for different European media.

As a documentary maker and researcher, Ruth prefers to work on social and cultural stories that show a broader perspective and a diverse image of the region. She is often on the road, working in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Oman & Algeria or wherever stories take her. 

As a freelance correspondent Ruth mainly works for Dutch and Belgian TV, radio and written press. She has won the Dutch journalistic 'De Tegel' award in 2014 for the reportages she made in Syria for the Dutch current affairs program 'Nieuwsuur'. 

Together with Magnum Photographer Bieke Depoorter, Ruth worked on the book 'As it may be' for which she wrote an essay about postrevolutionary Egypt and the process of Depoorter's journey through the country that started in 2011. The book was published by Aperture (US) and came out in 2017. 

Find Ruth on twitter via @ruthruthcairo
Email: ruth.vandewalle [at] gmail.com

 

Supported
€ 6.000 allocated on 25/08/2020.
ID
FPD/2020/1769

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