- Artist Maha Maamoun
- Title Domestic Tourism II
- Date 2008
- Medium Video
- Duration 62 minutes
- Credit Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
In Domestic Tourism II, Maha Maamoun explores how the ‘timeless’ image of the Egyptian pyramids - projected by the tourism industry - can be challenged by reworking representations of these historic monuments into urban narratives that highlight their complex political, social and historical dimensions.
This video pieces together footage from Egyptian films in which the pyramids are featured as a backdrop, creating an uninterrupted flow of cinematic references to a set of iconic structures. Many of the selected scenes have a political resonance and are linked to memorable and important moments in the history of modern Egypt. In the films she worked with, Maamoun found that the pyramids were either presented nostalgically, as an immutable reminder of a magnificent past against which the corrupt present is evaluated and critiqued, or as an enduring symbol of a glorious nation that has persisted for centuries and which is distinct from the flawed modern country of today.
The film opens with scenes from recent movies and works its way backwards to the 1950s before moving, once again, through modern clips. By re-inscribing the pyramids into the multifaceted and constantly evolving socio-cultural and historical landscape of Cairo, Maamoun re-appropriates this national symbol and through it, Egypt’s image, from the simplification and superficial glorification of touristic postcards, commercials and Hollywood films.