Photographer Revaluates Power Dynamics via Intimate Portraiture

For the past 9 years, French native Denis Dailleux has been based in the heart of Egypt. Within the confines of Cairo, his photographs of city life focus on everything from rickshaw drivers to memorials for revolutionaries. However, his personal work strays away from the streets and into the homes of physically imposing men. Juxtaposed with their aging matriarchs, shroud in hijabs and flowing veils, these portraits make up the photographic series Mother and Son.

Despite Herculean muscles rippling just beneath their skin, their interactions with these frail old women are gentle touches, their positioning prone and vulnerable. Offering a rare perspective from a fairly conservative, predominantly Muslim society, these profound moments challenge existing ideology on what defines human strength. With women taking the helm of these images, viewers are forced to consider whether the body’s brawn and might has much power when compared to the tight, familial bonds that define us all.

All photos are courtesy of Denis Dailleux.

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