Hala Elkoussy was born in Cairo in Egypt in 1974. Elkoussy has done much to promote photography in her native city. She studied at Goldsmith’s, London and has taught in Cairo, where she coordinated the second PhotoCairo exhibition in 2003.
‘Cairo is a city that is changing at a very fast pace... Icons are being revised. Some disappear without a trace except in the memories of those who grew up with them. New icons are appearing everywhere.’
She is interested in the paradoxical nature of the influence of Western pop culture on Egyptians in the context of the historic mistrust of representational media in Egypt. Her work often takes urban myths, rumours, hearsay and gossip as source material, as in
her Myths and Legend Room – The Mural of 2010, as well as Peripheral Stories. She has been involved with artist-led initiatives such as the Contemporary Image Collective, which she co-founded, and has curated exhibitions of emerging artists
in Cairo. Peripheral Stories predates the Arab Spring and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.