Where they work, in their provocative attire and flamboyant make-up, there is pain, politics, broken bones, torn muscles, sweat, patience, miracles. Nothing is certain about what they do – except applause at the end. This is the one place in the Egyptian government apparatus were magic happens – the State Circus.
John Perkins was born in London in 1972. He read anthropology at Queen's Belfast in the mid 90s during the troubles. After graduating he travelled in Israel and Egypt, which he still visits regularly. In 2000 he joined the graduate photojournalism course at the London College of Printing. He won an Alexia Foundation (USA) scholarship for work on Palestinian kids, and sold his first magazine feature. The following years saw reportages on soccer in Ramallah, prisons in Canada, and migrant labourers in Dubai. He won National Press Photographers Association awards (USA) in 2002, 2005 and 2006, and was won a Magenta Foundation (Canada) award in 2006. He was featured in group exhibitions by Noorderlicht (Netherlands) in 2006 and OSI Moving Walls (Egypt) in 2007. In 2007 he taught his first workshop at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo. He has lived in Cairo since 2007.