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Studio Cairo 2008-2011

Studio Cairo was founded in 1956 by Mohamad abo Hasireh( Abo Jamil). He managed the studio for decades with his life friend whose nickname is Abo Jamil, as well. Two photographers, Abo Jamils, worked together.  Studio Cairo used to be an inviting & refreshing stop in the hustle and bustle of the city of Nablus, which makes the biggest shopping market in Palestine.

Till the late Eighties, clients from all backgrounds visited the studio attic and wore costumes & makeup, posing in photo sessions, solely or with families & loved ones.

Abo Jamil developed and printed thousands of photos of his clients and friends. For decades, he displayed his work on the shop shelves and vitrines. Since the late Eighties, fewer clients showed up, and gradually Abo Jamil removed his work from the shop windows. In 2006, he burnt his own archive.  

Inass Yassin Performance, public intervention, excavation of vernacular photography and documentation of the process made a fascinating journey. The project used the site of the studio as a platform to engage the audience in a theatrical playful act that involves them in the discussion about the occurred social shift.

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 Abo Jamil, took multiple shots of Yassin dressed and wearing makeup in the fashion of a variety of actual clients photographed during the 1970s and 1980s. The public was invited to participate in wearing costumes and makeup in order to contribute to the production of more photos. The artist’s intention was to create a substitute for the lost archive of this studio as well as to prepare a number of these photos for presentation in the studio’s public display display windows. The photographer, who has owned and run the studio since 1956 burnt his own archive in 2006 when he realized that his city, Nablus, was not the same city he knew. He took this decision after he was asked by some researchers to digitize his work. He realized that at some point he might lose control on the archive. He concluded that all the family and female portraits he produced for decades, which he was hiding in his storage since the late 1980s until he burnt them in 2006, might cause him trouble if they got publicly exposed. He decided to circumvent this concern by getting rid of the archive and burning all his work. Studio Cairo is but one example of how Inass Yassin engages with the politics and aesthetics in the shift that occurred within her community and surroundings.

Studio Cairo: Documentation

 Inass Yassin, Documentation, Studio Cairo, Performance and Site-Specific Intervention, 2011

Inass Yassin, Studio Cairo, Performance,Nablus,  2011

 Inass Yassin, Studio Cairo, Performance, Site-specific Intervention, Nablus, 2011

 Inass Yassin, Studio Cairo, Site-specific Intervention and Public Intervention, Nablus, 2011