Egypt, Mother and Son
A couple of years ago I came across a body of work by French photographer Denis Dailleux that featured Egyptian bodybuilders posing with their mothers. Recently these photos have been making the rounds on tumblr and again they have me captivated.
As I look at each picture, I want to know more about the subjects. I find my mind wanting to create my own back stories to accompany these captionless pictures. Who are these men? I wonder what stories and wisdoms would these mothers share if asked?
The exposed torsos of the shirtless sons contrasting with their veiled mother’s adorned with hijabs, niqabs or burqas; draw focus to traditions within Islamic and Middle Eastern cultures. The faces of the mothers convey a sense of nurturing, pride and strength while the sons — even with their imposing physiques — display tenderness in the presence of the women who brought forth their souls.
Photographer Denis Dailleux was born in 1958 in Angers, France. He has published a series of photography books all portraying Egypt, Cairo and his impressions of the revolution. His photographs have been exhibited internationally in Paris, France, Accra, Ghana, and in Siem Reap, Cambodia among other places.
This reminds me of something I read on BBC. Despite Egypt traditional machismo views on masculinity, there’s a movement in Egypt where young men are turning to alternative forms of masculinity to become on-line celebrities. Similar to instagram models in the US.
I think this is beautiful for the reasons you cited but I think there is a deeper connection. For most boys and men for that matter, their mothers were their first loves, pure unconditional love. The contrast of of the bare chested men and the covered mothers is very complex and I like it…
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Really beautiful photography. Some of the pictures really convey the love between mother and son especially well.
Was gonna post a flick of a Middle Eastern dude with his mom here, but it’s probably more suited for the Locker Room. If only I had access though…
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I’ve always been fascinated with the dynamic of adult men and their mothers. That is definitely a question I like to ask when meeting new men I’m interested in knowing more as friends because I believe it’s very telling.
Riveting pictures and I agree with your interpretation.