Maha Maamoun Egyptian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 914

An iconic scene from Chris Marker’s film La Jetée (1962) of a man traveling back in time in post-apocalyptic Paris is re-enacted here in a deserted building in contemporary Egypt. The reading of an excerpt from The Revolution of 2053: The Beginning (2007), an Arabic-language science fiction novel by Egyptian author Mahmoud Osman, has been dubbed over the photographic sequence.

Maha Maamoun created this video a year before the revolution of 2011 that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. The afterlife of 2026 in the Egyptian political context lends an additional resonance to a work already meditating on the nature of memory, teleology, and cause and effect relations. Viewed today, the video appears to foretell real-world events, while returning us to the present-time of its production on the eve of a revolution by narrating a scene set on the threshold of fictional revolution.

2026, Maha Maamoun (Egyptian, born 1972), Single-channel digital video, black-and-white, sound, 8 min., 21 sec.

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.