Curator

Norbert Schiller

Norbert Schiller, circa 1991 Photo by Barry Iverson

Norbert Schiller lived and worked as a news photographer in the Middle East and Africa for nearly three decades beginning in the early 1980s. He worked for numerous news agencies, magazines, and newspapers, including the Associated Press, Agence France Presse, the European Press Agency, United Press International, The New York Times and Der Spiegel. Among the major international events that he covered are three Iraq wars, conflict and famine in the Horn of Africa, Islamic insurgencies in Egypt and North Africa, and the Arab Israeli conflict. He has written about his experiences for numerous publications and co-authored several books about the region.

Schiller discovered his passion for 19th and early 20th century photography shortly after moving to Egypt in 1981 to attend the American University in Cairo. He started off by collecting old postcards of Cairo and Alexandria and then searching for the exact locations depicted in the postcards to get a feel of the dynamics between the old and new in this country with an intriguing history.

Initially Schiller began collecting postcards because that was all he could afford. Later, when he returned to Cairo and began working as a photographer, he expanded his collection to include original photographic prints. Thirty years later, Schiller has amassed a collection of prints and negatives from across the Middle East and North Africa numbering in the thousands. Much of his collection was acquired while roaming the streets of countries in the region he visited. Besides flea markets and covered bazaars, he also acquired photographs from established dealers in the United States and Europe.

If you want to share photographs that are relevant to exhibitions on Photorientalist.org or have exhibition ideas, please contact me at nschiller@photorientalist.org.

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