Cairo, neighborhood of Manshiyat Naser - Surrounded by garbage collected in the capital

  • Image 1 of 18

Life of garbage

Gian Maria Zapelli | Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, suburbs, just twenty minutes from the city center. This is the neighborhood of Manshiyat Naser, inhabited by a majority of Coptic Christians. They number at least twenty thousand and are called Zabbalin, the "garbage men," as they are the official waste collectors of the Egyptian capital. They collect garbage directly from the homes of the capital and bring it to this neighborhood, recycling up to 80 percente of Cairo's waste. Upon reaching Garbage City, as it has been dubbed by foreigners, every garbage bag is opened, and the contents are manually sorted into sixteen different types of materials. Here, work, waste and domestic life, garbage and the time of social life compose a single reality.

And in this place full of garbage flows daily life, with grocery shops, banks and bars where you can stop with friends. Where life seeks family, solidarity and future.

These are not photographs that seek to aestheticize reality, distancing and neutralizing it in the pleasure of perception. It's a story about human being in their belonging to the space in which they live.

In photography, the poetics that inspire him seeks human experience in its most precarious, vulnerable or marginal expressions. From isolated tribal communities exposed to their disappearance, to the outskirts of cities where life gathers in survival. Consistently grown women and men in whom life has left its path. It is not a documentary, a chronicle in images, but an empathetic and intimate closeness to the human being, with a painful feeling of life.

Last Exhibitions

Lecco, Torre Viscontea: “Per strada: il lavoro dove passi”- marzo-aprile ‘24

Lodi, Festival della Fotografia Etica, Circuito off:“Abitare” – ottobre ‘23

Milano, Spazio Tadini: “Frammenti di strada” – maggio ‘23

Varese, Ubik:“Dwelling”– settembre ‘22

Murgia, Galleria della biblioteca:“L’ospite femminile”– giugno ‘04

Vittuone, Cà Resta:“Donne della terra”– marzo ‘04

Torino, Libreria Fontana: “L’ospite femminile”– febbraio ‘03

Torino, Espace:“Donne della terra”– novembre ‘03


Gian Maria Zapelli,Hmong. Una migrazione silenziosa. Periplo Edizioni

The portfolio on line:

Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments