Hala ElKoussy lives and works in Cairo and Amsterdam.

Hala ElKoussy started working as a freelance photographer in 1998. In 2002, she completed an MA in Image and Communication at Goldsmiths College, University of London and lectured on photography at the American University in Cairo between 2002 and 2003. In 2004, she co-founded the Contemporary Image Collective - CiC, an independent artist initiative dedicated to photography and video based in Cairo. In 2005, she started a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Recently, Elkoussy has exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, the International Centre for Photography, New York, The Centre D'Art Contemporain, Geneva and the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo.

From Rome to Rome
, 2006
digital animation, 16 min
production still
Courtesy of the artist

Younis, the protagonist of ‘From Rome to Rome’, has modest dreams. Like any young man, he wants to ‘make money, get married and settle down’. Except like many others, he cannot find employment opportunities at home. He sells out the family buffalo and his mother’s gold to pay for a trip that would take him from the heart of the Delta to the land where, with hard work, his dreams would come true.

‘From Rome to Rome’ is a 16 minute animation based on the real life stories of young men who attempted the illegal, perilous crossing of the Mediterranean to Lampedusa: the southernmost part of Italy via Libya in search of a better future.

Special thanks go to the people of Ezbet El Saraya, Sharkia, for sharing their stories.