In an attempt to help me do a project about “crystal meth” in Egypt, I approached Momo, a friend and a neighbor whom I departed from his world of drug addiction 7 years ago. Yet, he starred in this story
Momo is an addict for more than 12 years now, currently using crystal meth, he doesn’t leave his black-walled room and his worn-out mattress. The burnt fabrics in the details of his room manifest his failed attempts to stop addiction and do music instead. As a recovered addict, this project was emotional and mentally triggering for me. It was both risky and hopeful for both of us to look into each other’s worlds as a hypothetical self-portrait of an alternative possible version of ourselves.
I was a stranger tourist in a world I once inhabited, and the crystal meth is a strange tourist in this world of addiction in Egypt. Through Momo’s story, room, and life, this project also underlines societal issues like chronic addiction, friendships, and familial bonds.
Before you go through the photos, please play the music that Momo made while I was photographing the project.
He told me that I showed up in his life at a very interesting time. It was his eighth day straight with absolutely no sleep. He described it as the worst time of his life in addiction!
Momo’s Friend is the only friend he has and trusts. They only do drugs and produce music in Momo’s black walled room. He usually stays with him for days straight up with no sleep. They feel safe in each others’ company. Initially, his friend didn’t trust me as much as Momo did.
“I feel that my life is imprisoned and suffocating in that thing”
Jessie has been accompanying Momo for 3 years now. It was ‘gifted’ by his father. For many years his father was out absent in his life, especially after his parents’ divorce in his childhood. He only started showing up 7 years ago. Surprisingly Momo’s father got him Jessie,and he doesn’t really know why he did. Their bond is still dysfunctional. But Momo really lovesJessie, his dog! He always tries keep her out of his room so she doesn’t get affected or intoxicated he also says she usually pushed away from him the drug stuff.
Sometimes, the balcony is the only place I can breathe.
When I return, where will I find you?" I asked, "Different" he replied, "Definitely you will find me different, but don't know how or where...". Since a year ago, I haven't heard from Momo, and I've tried to find him but couldn't.