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Braille Notation

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This trumpeter uses Braille notation, a system invented by Louis Braille - a blind musician himself. The system can represent all elements of a musical score. The pride and joy of the Al-Nour wal Amal (light and hope) center for the blind is the orchestra. Eighty girls and women live at the center, which was founded by a wealthy landowner's daughter in 1954. Dozens more commute to the center every day. Besides a full school curriculum, the women's education includes handicrafts, cooking and home economics. The musical program started in the 1970s has produced two orchestras of about 35 members each. The main orchestra performs at home and abroad, while a training ensemble of younger girls plays mostly for school audiences.

Commissioned by: Contact Press Images for Natural History

Location: Cairo, Egypt


Photo Credit: Lori Grinker

Lori Grinker, born in New York, is an award-winning documentary photographer. Internationally exhibited and published, her work has garnered many awards, including a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fellowship, an Ernst Hass Grant, Open Society Community Engagement Grant, and a Hasselblad Foundation Grant. Using still photographs, text and video, she is known for long-term, intimate documentary projects with a strong creative vision. She has published two books: The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women, and Afterwar: Veterans from a World in Conflict. Her photographs are held in the collections of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the International Center of Photography, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and San Francisco MOMA (among others). A lecturer at Yale since 2010, and a faculty member at ICP, she teaches workshops around the world. Her current project, Distant Relations, explores through landscapes, portraits, and interiors her family’s diaspora. She is represented by Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York, Meo Represents, and has been a member of Contact Press Images since 1988.

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