‘Cleopatras Scoring Change’ by Egyptian Photographer Lina Geoushy, is an ongoing project highlighting certain prejudices that Egyptian women faced when wanting to partake in a sport that is considered ‘manly’, a sport such as football. Football in Egypt has traditionally been played by men, as women at the time were scrutinised for doing such by the public and their own family due to reasons such as sexism and patriarchal cultural beliefs. These are the beliefs that Lina challenges in her body of work.
“I grew up playing football at home with my two older brothers, however I couldn’t take it to the next level due to the general lack of support and the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding women in football. I chose to play Tennis because I loved it but also because it was more accepted in my culture for a girl to play tennis” expressed Lina. The portraits taken of her female subjects emit a sense of empowerment especially with her choice of photographing some of them from a lower angle which enables her subjects to look dominant, contrary to the lived reality of many Egyptian women as well as many women in the rest of Africa being dominated by men in a patriarchal society.
“I use photography as a form of visual activism to tackle issues that I and a lot of other women in my country face. Just because a woman plays football does not mean that she is a lesbian or a man-hater, her playing football should not diminish her femininity” said Lina. Her images debunk in-rooted stereotypes and offer a new perspective on women playing sports. A form of sisterhood, ‘sportswomanship’ and respect can be seen through her images, demonstrating that these qualities gained from playing sports should not exclusively exist for men.
“Football is a universal game, and sports shouldn’t alienate anyone. It's about time we break barriers and fight the stigma against Egyptian girls and women playing football.” -Lina Geoushy.
Lina Geoushy is an Egyptian photographer working across the spectrum of documentary and portrait photography. While studying photography at the London College of Communication, Lina began combining her experience in communication & psychology with her passion for capturing for capturing images and telling stories that deconstruct and question the public's perception of the prevailing power of patriarchy. To view more of her work visit her website