Full Frame features photo essays and conversations with photographers in the field.
My background in international banking ignited my passion for foreign cultures, and I now find myself most personally rewarded when I am able to totally immerse myself in a religious ritual or festival, documenting it and sharing my sensations with others. It is religious rituals and ceremonies that attract me the most for my photographic work because it’s where people are at their most authentic, where there are no artifices and no make-believe. It is at these events that one connects with humanity at its basic denominator, and with the nobility of the human spirit … and it is that that nourishes me, and I try to share that with others.
About the photographer:
Tewfic El-Sawy is a freelance photographer who specializes in documenting endangered cultures and traditional ways of life in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Passionate about documentary-travel photography, he also produces multimedia stories, merging still photography and ambient sound. His particular interest is in photographing cultural ceremonies and tribal rituals such as the Maha Kumbh Mela and Pushkar Camel Fair of India; the 2,000-year-old performance-ritual of Theyyam in Kerala; Timket (Epiphany) festival in Ethiopia; the Hindu festivals in Bali, the ritualistic dances of the Advisasis of Chhattisgarh; the Tantric-based dances of Bhutan; and the exorcisms practiced by various Sufi sects of India. Tewfic teaches documentary photography and multimedia to emerging photojournalists, and also leads photo-expeditions/workshops for photographers who share his enthusiasm for unusual cultures, uncommon locations and lesser-known festivals. His style is a mix of travel photography and documentary photography, which participants in his expeditions describe as “photojournalism meeting travel photography."