Manuel Alvarez Diestro captured with his camera the conquest of the desert by new housing estates near the Egyptian metropolis of Cairo.
He has observed for years the disastrous ecological and social consequences of such construction but also a subjective beauty in the changing desert landscape.
The construction of a new satellite city in the desert near Cairo from scratch was envisioned as a solution to the housing shortages in the country. A highly migratory population moving from the countryside to the city and one of the highest birth rates in the world obliged local authorities to envision a plan for the future that could accommodate the housing needs of the lower social classes.
However, these days, New Cairo with its hundreds of gated communities is mostly for the wealthy. A new identity is being forged in the desert far from the aspirations of the majority that still require basic housing.
Manuel Alvarez Diestro is a visual artist based in London working with photography and film. His main interest is to explore mankind place in the landscape and in the contemporary city.