Watcher | Les Atelier Varan Documentary

Watcher is a documentary film shot and produced by me, while attending the Atelier Varan workshop at the Cimatheque – Alternative Film Center in Cairo with the support of the French Embassy in Egypt. Moderated by Jean-Noël Cristiani and David Ghéron Tretiakoff.

Everyday I pass by these small cubicle houses in the street. They are supposedly there for my protection, yet I have never seen any movement. I park my car around the curb of one of these houses on a daily basis but I rarely catch a glimpse of who sits inside and when it’s empty, it seems inhabited – clothes hanging, kettle boiling. What’s it like for a man to be spending so much time alone in a small, confined space? What is it that makes me relate to these brief encounters?

This image of rich and poor, grand and obsolete is a microcosm of a bigger picture of the experience of living in Cairo. My overall aim with this workshop was to create a non-linear short film exploring the daily life of a security guard in a confined space, within a luxurious compound. In doing so, I demonstrate how this single image invariably encapsulates the wider economic, social and political state of Cairo.

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