Mubarak Steps Down
General News, first prize singles
February 10, 2011
Demonstrators on Tahrir Square, Cairo, react to a televised speech on 10 February, in which contrary to prior expectations, Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak said he would not give up power. Since late January, protests against Mubarak’s 30-year-old regime had been held nationwide, with Tahrir Square as an increasingly volatile focal point. Crowds gathering in the square were already celebrating what they thought would be a resignation speech. Following Mubarak’s declaration that he would remain, the number and intensity of demonstrations increased across the country. Eventually, at 18.00 on 11 February, Vice-President Suleiman announced that Mubarak had resigned, handing leadership over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. In response to demonstrators’ demands, the Supreme Council dissolved parliament and suspended the constitution, declaring that it would hold power for six months, or until elections could be held.
Magnum Photos for Newsweek
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About the photographer
Alex Majoli was born in Italy in 1971, and at the age of 15 joined the F45 Studio in Ravenna, working alongside Daniele Casadio. While studying at the Art Institute in Ravenna, he joined the Grazia Neri Agency, and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the conflict there. He returned many times over the next few years, covering all major events in Kosovo and Albania. Majoli graduated from art school in 1991. Three years later, he made an intimate portrayal of the closing of an asylum for the insane on the island of Leros, Greece, a project that became the subject of his first book, Leros.
In 1995, Majoli went to South America for several months, photographing a variety of subjects for his ongoing personal project, Requiem in Samba. He started the project Hotel Marinum, on life in harbor cities around the world, in 1998. The goal of this project was to use it as part of a multimedia theater performance. That same year he began making a series of short films and documentaries.
After becoming a full member of Magnum Photos in 2001, Majoli covered the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the invasion of Iraq. He continues to document various conflicts worldwide for Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, and National Geographic. In collaboration with Thomas Dworzak, Paolo Pellegrin and Ilkka Uimonen, he staged the exhibition and installation Off Broadway, in New York in 2004, which then traveled to France and Germany. He later became involved in a project for the French Ministry of Culture entitled BPS, or Bio-Position System, about the social transformation of the city of Marseilles. A recently completed project, Libera Me, a reflection on the human condition, became a book in 2011.
Alex Majoli lives and works in New York and Milan.