When I travel to foreign countries, I’m usually pretty ambivalent about taking pictures. Not because I’m a terrible photographer (which I am), but because I often have this uncomfortable feeling that in taking photos, I’m somehow putting the locals on display, making them a story, an interesting “thing'” I encountered while away from home.
Chalk it up to growing up within hollering distance of Disney World and only seeing the constant stream of the sandals and camera set invading Florida year-round. It felt like the place where I lived didn’t belong to us–it was merely a place for outsiders to come in, grab some fast food, and move along on their way to somewhere else.
Photographer Cliff Cheney confronts this very discomfort–humorously–in his Tumblr blog Egyptians Photographing Foreigners. Launched in the middle of the summer, just before President Mohamed Morsi was unseated in a military coup, Egyptians Photographing Foreigners has presented just that: snapshots of locals grabbing their digital cameras or phones to capture pictures of foreigners–in the midst of the latest round of protests and everyday life on the street.
Although most of the posts seem to be from the photographer himself, Cheney accepts submissions from his readers, making these photos of Egyptians taking pictures of foreigners being photographed by foreigners.
Now what I’d love to see: Disney World employees photographing tourists photographing them being photographed by security. Get on that, somebody.