Bird View of AUC: First Aerial Cinematography Exhibition in Egypt
Bird View Aerials, the newest exhibition at the Photographic Gallery, is taking Egypt’s art scene to new heights. The first exhibition of its kind in Egypt, this collection of aerial photographs and video footage takes viewers soaring over Zamalek, Egypt’s North Coast and even AUC’s New Cairo campus.
For artist and AUC alumnus Mohamed Abdel-Razek ‘14, making history was part of the project’s appeal. “I’ve always pushed myself to do things that are outside of the box, to make a name for myself in history,” said Abdel-Razek, who is also pursuing his masters in digital journalism at AUC. “I’m very proud of my exhibition at AUC because it’s the first aerial cinematography project at the University. As an AUCian, I wanted to write history at my University as well as in Egypt.”
From AUC to Bird View Aerials
Abdel-Razek’s interest in aerial photography and cinematography was peaked first in childhood and later on at AUC. “My interest in aerial photography started as a child when I used to fly RC Model Planes at the 6th of October Airport,” Abdel-Razek recalled, who had begun to write for Al-Ahram Weekly as an AUC student and has so far written a total of 48 articles for the newspaper. “Then at AUC, I found journalism, media and photography interesting. Aerial photography came out while I was at AUC, and I thought it would offer a new perspective for photography, cinematography and even writing, where I could merge my interest in photography with my hobby flying planes.”
After graduating from AUC with a bachelor’s in multimedia journalism and a double minor in digital journalism and economics, Abdel-Razek started his own company, Bird View Aerials, the first and only professional aerial cinematography service in Egypt.
Now a journalist, artist and entrepreneur, Abdel-Razek explained that his business has allowed him to combine his many interests. “I’ve found that everything connects at the end,” he explained. “I’m using what I studied at AUC to support myself. Everything I studied at AUC paid off.”
While Abdel-Razek looks to write history, he also noted that being the first to do aerial photography and cinematography in Egypt comes with certain challenges and responsibilities. For example, because regulations are still being developed, Abdel-Razek takes it upon himself to ensure his work is done safely. “Flying here in Egypt is very complicated,” he explained. “I fly only on private properties at low altitudes, not more than 25 meters, to prevent any air traffic accidents.”
Looking forward, Abdel-Razek hopes to use aerial photography and cinematography to give back to his community, particularly to boost Egypt’s tourism industry. “Right now, I dream of doing a shoot of Egypt to support my country and especially to help Egypt’s tourism,” he explained. “I would like to get footage of Old Cairo and other tourist areas in the city as well as other places in Egypt like Aswan and Luxor. I started my career with AUC, and now my dream is to get footage of Egypt as a whole.”
The Bird View Aerials exhibition will remain on view at AUC's Photographic Gallery at the New Cairo campus until Thursday, March 31.