Around the world this spring and summer several international events take place at several cities, the Cannes Film festival, the Sharjah Biennial, the Venice Biennial and others are events that bring flocks of visitors interested in particular cultural productions such as film and art to those cities. The events serve various functions from energizing the economies of cities to revitalizing otherwise neglected spaces to creating dynamic reputations (branding) for those cities. In all cases such events put their host cities on the world culture map and bring visitors year round beyond the limited time frames of those events. In Egypt, events such as the Cairo Film Festival have failed to make a similar impact on the city. Aly Muhammad Ahmad visited Milan Design Week and reflected on the power of international events in revitalizing cities and keeping them going.
The main exhibition at Milan Rho
By Aly Muhammad Ahmad
Architecture has always been as much about the event that takes place in a space as about the space itself. Bernard Tshumi, Event Cities
Every year during April and for a week, Milan, the well known city as the capital of design and fashion, is well dressed to welcome one of the most important design events in the world: the Milan Design Week. The event takes place in Rho exhibition area (the main exhibition), and also at different districts and neighborhoods which are considered for young designers.
The upcoming lines are not a report about the event and the competition that takes place between designers from all over the world or their amazing works, but it is an attempt to consider an urban perspective on another competition that takes place between different city districts, neighborhoods and public spaces.
Different spaces in each district, whatever their original functions are, switch into exhibition areas. A university, a kindergarten, a warehouse or a workshop, it does not matter, they are all switched to serve the design exhibition.
The two examples below are for two districts that are quiet and calm neighborhoods during typical everyday life but during the Design Week, they are the most well known and active spaces in the city.
The Egyptian booth at salone satellite 2013
Ventura Lambrate area is a remote area and the main street where the exhibition takes place is full of warehouses, abandoned factories and workshops for small crafts where people are exhibiting their works side by side with their crafts tools.
There are some light fixtures, benches on the outside and bars to sell water and snacks are all what you need to bring life and people into a warehouse and display the different products in open partitions. The warehouse or the abandoned building becomes vibrant and occupied by people and designers and their products.
A kindergarten is changed and switched into another exhibition space for fashion design; many other buildings are easily switched into new temporary functions.
The exhibition at different Warehouses
The exhibition at Workshop
Located behind “Porta Genova” train station, “Zona Tortona” is a very calm street with a lot of small houses with courtyards inside and some small shops outside. The courtyards and garages on the ground floor are ready to receive the new function during design week, for example, an entrance garden for a firm head office is switched to an open exhibition. The calm street becomes a crowded pedestrian path; entrances on both sides are opened to welcome people, the small shops display their products outside. Booths are everywhere, people are watching, taking photos, contemplating the products, drinking and crossing from one space to another. It’s totally a vibrant and lively space.
Courtyards at Tortona
Every space is well used; the corridor of an old palace is temporarily used as an open area for display. Many other places are hosting events and exhibitions, the courtyards and rooms of universities, the city centre public spaces, and many more.
Milan is fully booked every year during April because of Design Week; people from all over the world head to the city. In addition to the event, touristic sites across the city become activated and well-visited. The event is an important source of income to the city and its hostels, hotels, museums, transportation, and commercial spaces. Good infrastructure and services are very important to host an event like this.
It is all about a vision and a will to convert a specific place or a city to an attraction point. Why don’t you stop, visit, buy, eat, be entertained and enjoy an atmosphere full of art, design and beauty. It’s a will to bring life to a certain space.
It’s very strange how in Egypt we don’t appreciate the value of historical buildings and how we are neglecting them until we wake up everyday on news about the destruction or the collapse of all or a part of them. It is also strange how we feel shame from old crafts workshops and how we want to get rid of them, instead of discovering the potential inherent in them, while other people have crossed over this by giving value to non valuable buildings through contemporary and elegant functions, design, new concepts and creativity. This requires another look at the city and its contents.
Aly Muhammad Ahmad is a graduate student at the School of Architecture and Society at the Politecnico Di Milano.
Last December the Geothe Institute hosted a panel discussion titled “Artists as Urban Catalysts in Downtown Cairo.” The event was organized by Beth Stryker and Omar Nagati (Cluster) and supported by the Ford Foundation. Invited panelists represented two types of stakeholders in downtown: property owners (Karim Shafei, CEO of Al Ismaelia Real Estate Development, and Bruce Ferguson, Dean of the School of Humanities representing the American University in Cairo), and representatives of cultural organizations (founding member of the Contemporary Image Collective Heba Farid, Townhouse Curator Ania Szremski, filmmaker and co-founder of Cimateque Tamer El Said). The panel was moderated by Mohamed Elshahed (Cairobserver).
The panel aimed to bring together the above mentioned representatives in an open public discussion to re-examine what the organizers called “the classic appropriation of artists as catalysts for urban regeneration by real-estate developers seeking future gentrification,” asking how things might play out differently in Cairo. However, a key word in that sentence is difficult to translate into Arabic: Gentrification. Although the discussion was held in English (with Arabic translation available), it was important to note the untransability of the conversation’s central concept. The unavailability of a direct translation of the term/concept doesn’t mean the processes of gentrification do not exist in Cairo but it points to the need for analysis and theorization grounded in the Egyptian context.
AUC’s downtown campus, much of which is no longer in use, could potentially act as an anchor for cultural activity downtown and provide much needed space for independent artist organizations as well as to its own students to maintain the link between the now suburban university and its downtown urban past. The university has not taken an active role in realizing that potential, however it has made its Falaki Theater available for public performances and events. Al-Ismailia on the other hand is actively engaged with arts and culture in downtown; not only do several arts organizations rent space from the company, Al-Ismailia is also the main sponsor and organizer of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival.
The three arts spaces represented (CIC, Cimateque and Townhouse) while they rent the spaces they presently occupy, their relatively short-term leases mean insecurity and potentially being forced out of their premises due a variety of economic factors. In other cities, particularly in Europe, similar arts organizations were able to negotiate deals with municipalities in which long-term leases were granted, sometimes with no rent, which has helped such organizations thrive by focusing their funds into their creative activities while catalyzing the regeneration of their urban contexts (which municipalities are interested in). Such a process is not possible in Cairo as the state; the governorate (the closest Cairo has to a municipality) does not seek artists as catalysts for areas it manages where underused buildings could be transformed into cultural centers. Nor does the Cairo governorate have a development plan or vision in which independent culture plays a key role in transforming the city. Thus, Cairo’s independent artists and the cultural organizations they establish depend on their relationship to private property owners when it comes to establishing a space. The three speakers on this side of the debate explicated the opportunities and challenges they face in this matter.
It is important to note that Egypt has a massive centralized Culture Ministry with an immense budget and numerous spaces including nearby downtown at the campus of the Opera and in downtown such as the National Theater. However these spaces are often inactive and unwelcoming not only to audiences but also to artists. The ministry’s budgets mostly go into paying wages, not into programming.
Two competing voices emerged from the audience; on one hand some applauded the work of Al Ismailia and its support for the arts in downtown. One audience member argued that as artists “no one owes us anything” and that artists must find ways to establish their spaces without relying on support from private interests. On the other hand, others voiced concern with those sentiments and argued that in the Egyptian context when contemporary art lacks cohesive institutional support, private developers and property owners have an increased responsibility to support artists with affordable spaces.
The panel discussion revealed the need for a mediating entity between the various and sometimes conflicting interests of stakeholders. As moderator I suggested the need to establish a “Downtown Arts Council,” an independent body that incorporates members of the various stakeholders on its board and which acts as a mediator, organizer, advocate and promoter of the arts in the district. Such councils have been established as non-profit organizations in cities around the world for several decades and they have had a key role in the stimulation of cultural and artistic life in those cities. An arts council for downtown Cairo will allow artists to focus on their creative work and not be burdened with logistics while acting as a buffer between the two co-dependent yet unequal (in financial terms) main players in this scene: the artists and the property owners/developers. The institutional structure of arts councils differ around the world and their relationships to the states and ministries of culture also differ and range from direct support by the state to parallel operations and autonomy. Cairo’s downtown arts community and other stakeholders will need to sit down on many occasions besides this panel to decide on which model works best for Cairo’s context.
To this end the organizers staged the panel around the critical questions: “How is Cairo different from other cities, such as New York and Beirut, where such cycles of gentrification have taken place? What role may the underutilized AUC campus play in providing a cultural anchor Downtown? What are the advantages and downsides of private sector partnerships between real estate stakeholders and independent artists and arts organizations?” They created this initial forum seeking “to explore potential local strategies for sustaining artists’ access to the generative contributions they make to urban development.”
The arts can be an engine for urban regeneration and development while urban development and investment can enrich the arts, but striking this balance without repeating the mistakes of other “creative city” experiments will be difficult. This panel discussion was an important first step in starting a meaningful conversation. Cluster organized the panel discussion as the first in what they are developing as an ongoing series of stakeholder meetings related to the arts and urban development in Downtown Cairo. Maintaining that conversation, evolving it and reaching useful conclusions and outcomes will be work that the stakeholders will have to carryout for themselves and in cooperation with one another, otherwise such panel discussions risk becoming ephemeral one off events with little tangible impact on the issues discussed therein.
For more information and for a video of the discussion click here.
The second edition of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) kicked off earlier this month. The program lasting over three weeks includes performing arts, visual arts, music, film, edutainment and “urban visions,” a program of free contemporary dance and theater events in public spaces. Festival organizer Ahmed El Attar is clear about his intentions: “to highlight that public space is the space for the exchange of values and practices between people, and that while politics and protest have paved the way in the last two years, art is another legitimate means of engaging with the world.” This is not just another urban renewal cultural event; there are specificities here that make this seemingly familiar concept of employing culture as a driver for urban development different in Cairo in 2013. The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is making space “for ideas to be discussed and projects to be planned, for audiences to be inspired and provoked.” While the political landscape continues to be illegible, and while clashes continue to sporadically erupt and while many are waiting by the sidelines to decide their next move, and while questions surround the future of the arts and freedom of expression D-CAF rushes in to actively become part of the conversation and of the process shaping the future of downtown Cairo and beyond.
One of the most successful aspects of the festival is the appropriation of space in downtown in new ways (dancing, theater and performance in public space), reusing spaces that have been closed for years (film screenings in Cinema Radio), or reimagining the uses of already functional spaces (concerts in Shahrazade Cabaret).
[The Great War by Hotel Modern (The Netherlands) - April 16 - Falaki Theatre - Photo by Mostafa Abdel Aty]
One of the performances we attended was The Great War by Hotel Modern, a Dutch visual arts group (four persons) that combines puppets, theater, music, film and performance. The group performed twice in Falaki Theater, part of the downtown AUC campus. Using miniature sets placed on stage with small cameras transmitting images onto a projection, the group narrates World War I in less than an hour combining top down narrative (using a map of Europe with symbols for monarchs and armies) to the scale of individuals taking part in the war and a detailed retelling of soldier’s experiences on the war field. The stage set included various miniature sets for different scenes including a water tank for the scene of a sinking ship and another with dirt, herbs and paper cutouts for scenes involving distant cityscapes and battlefield fighting. All the sets, including the dirt, were shipped from the Netherlands. Making such a performance available in Egypt to a public audience is in itself new. The entry ticket for this event was 20 LE (Students: 10 LE).
[SADAT (Egypt) - April 18 - Shahrazade - Photo by Mohamed Elshahed]
Another event we attended was a concert by SADAT (Egypt-Shaabi) and El Rass & Munma (Lebanon-Hiphop) at the famed Shahrazade nightclub on Alfi Street. SADAT is a popular Shaabi singer; a genre that crossed into the mainstream in new ways after the revolution and which now has an expanding audience crossing through Egyptian society. The concert was electric. The venue made for a perfect location for this kind of event. On most nights Shahrazade, one of downtown’s older nightlife establishments, hosts belly dance performances with a few tables for a predominantly male audience. The audience at the concert was diverse across the spectrum and the place was full. Currently there are few venues in downtown that host concerts or dance parties regularly; such events are often located in more exclusive venues with strict monitoring of those entering (males must be accompanied by females, or if you look not “classy” enough you may be denied entry, and often there is a high minimum charge). None of these obstacles were in place for this party/concert, which may explain the genuine fun that was visibly had by the audience. The entry ticket for this event was 30 LE.
The majority of the festival events are free of charge such as the play Alice by Sawsan Bou Khaled and Hussein Baydoun (Lebanon), which was performed in the Viennoise Hotel. The building, once a hotel but closed for decades, has been used recently by a variety of art events such as the recent photo exhibition Studio Viennoise and the annual Cairo Documenta, adding a new and different kind of venue to the geography of arts and culture in Cairo.
Other free events include the InterLAB/Tele-exhibition hosted in Hotel Viennoise and Medrar Space in neighboring Garden City. Augmented Airspace is another free visual arts installation by Dia Hamed (Egypt) and Lot Amoros (Spain) located in Elwi St, behind the Egyptian Stock Exchange. Face the Vitrine is an installation by Ganzeer & Yasmin Elayat (Egypt), which takes place in a public storefront on Mahmoud Bassiouni St.
The festival’s film program focused on contemporary West African Cinema, an important contribution to the context of Cairo where arts and culture, including cinema, typically look north to Europe and North America, creating a bilnd spot that encompasses the artistic and filmic expressions of the rest of the world including African cinema. The film program is entirely free of charge and the screenings are hosted in the Goethe Institute and Radio Cinema. Films include Blind Ambition by Hassan Khan (Egypt, 2012), Underground/On the Surface (Egypt, 2013), Ai Weiwei: Never sorry (USA, 2012), Burn It Up Djassa (Ivory Coast, 2012), and Hope Travels (Burkina Faso, 2011).
[100Hands (The Netherlands) - April 5 - Borsa - Photo by Mostafa Abdel Aty]
A particularly important aspect of the festival is its Urban Visions program which brings contemporary performances to public spaces and buildings in downtown Cairo but also to Hadaeq El Nil Club, El Badrasheen, Giza and the Ahmed Bahaa el Din Cultural Center in El Doweir Village in Assiut. The program’s performances use “non-traditional sites such as historical buildings, storefronts and alleyways as sites for performances, thus engaging audiences and performers with the city in a new way.” All performances in Urban Visions are free of charge.
Overall this festival is an important intervention in Cairo’s spatial and intellectual public space and it comes at a critical time when questions over arts, expression, and public space are most pertinent. In the absence of a coordinated effort by the state to use its infrastructure, its finances and its institutions such as the Culture Ministry to promote arts and culture, D-CAF contributes to adding to the complexity of downtown’s and Cairo’s arts and culture landscape. The learning curve the organizers have shown since last year’s edition of the festival is commendable.
[TRAFFIC by Tomeo Verges (France) - April 5 - Mahmoud Basiouny - Photo by Mostafa Abdel Aty]
There are critics out there who choose to not take part in these activities, or complain that some events require ticketing or that there are too many corporate sponsors, some are even complaining they don’t like the name because it brings to mind the kind of coffee pointless in drinking. However, self-righteous sentiments such as these might be cool in Brooklyn or East London where other options might be available and where a variety of independent institutions often with sizable budgets organize events, concerts and festivals year round. D-CAF is creating space for Egyptian artists and audiences and providing Egyptian audiences access to international artists who otherwise would not perform in the country. While there are alternative events taking place such as Hal Badeel Festival, they are not competing events rather they are complementary and belong to different calibers.
The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival goes on until 28 April; catch a show before you have to wait for next year’s festival. You can find the program here.
By Farah Shoukry
In the midst of Old Cairo, Darb 1718 hosted Module Designers’ Parallels exhibition and workshop. Parallels is the first workshop in a series to follow under the umbrella of Strawberry Fields Forever; an optimistic name for a developmental experimental project that aims to reach out to the community.
Yasser El Quessney, the principle architect and mastermind of Module Designers, is co-operating with Walid Taher in order to recruit interested parties to share their knowledge on parallel development.
The exhibited artwork of mixed media art was expressing the perception of Parallels in different notions. Whether an installation, a quotation, photography, audio, video, mono-print or collage. The architects, graphic artists and interior designers of Module Designers explored their artistic talents on their way to reach out to the community.
A dialogue on parallel development, art, architecture, urbanism and sustainable agriculture, has been initiated by the honorable guest speakers who joined us on Saturday April 6. Mohamed Elshahed, behind Cairobserver, enriched the participants with an insightful perspective on Cairo behind the scenes. Muhammed Radwan, the enthusiastic ICE-Cairo Space Manager, talked about the ICE initiative and the efforts made to empower youth to start their own green market business. Elshahed and Radwan stressed upon the importance of mapping and documenting various initiatives working in the developmental field to allow for collaboration as many initiatives share similar goals and interests. The following session was presented by Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Refky, the wonderful brains of Shagara NGO which works on the plantation of rooftops. The team shared their vision on green sustainable communities and discussed the technical methods used to implement the Shagara vision. Moreover, Prof. Ahmed Rashed, Head of the Architecture Department at BUE, shared with us the “Taking Leave”, student architecture competition that has been implemented with a revolutionary spirit.
The fruitful Parallels workshop acts as a momentum and inspiration to set up a Co-Work space in Fakharany Village, Qasr El Shame3, right next to the Darb 1718 Center. Keep an eye open for the next workshop, “Multiplicity”, to be announced soon upon organization.
مبادرة الحي للجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت
محاضرة أ/د: سينثيا مينتي الجامعة الأمريكية ببيروت
السبت 13 ابريل 2013 -الخامسة مساءً - كلية الهندسة جامعة عين شمس
في اطار مبادرة جامعة عين شمس لخدمة المجتمع وتنمية البيئة المحيطة.تنسيق قسم الهندسه المعمارية كليه الهندسةبالتعاون مع جمعية الفكر العمراني (مجاورة)
تم اطلاق مبادرة خدمة المجتمع و تنمية البيئة للجامعة الامريكية ببيروت في عام 2007 لتشجيع مساهمة الكليات و الطلبة في حل المشاكل المؤثرة في منطقة بيروت الواقعة خارج اسوار الجامعة. يتم رعاية المبادرة من خلال مكتب رئيس الجامعة الذي يعمل مع الجهات الأكاديمية و الغير أكاديمية في الجامعة بالإضافة الى مجموعة واسعة من الأطراف المعنية في الحي و الحكومة. بعض القضايا التي يتم تناولها: إختناق المرور، تلوث الهواء، صعوبة التنقل للمشاه، قلة الاماكن الخضراء، شيخوخة السكان و تزايد الفوارق بين طبقات الأغنياء و الفقراء المقيمين بالمنطقة.
عن سينثيا مينتي
سينثيا مينتي استاذ في ممارسة الصحة العامة وهي رئيس مشروع مبادرة خدمة المجتمع و تنمية البيئة المحيطة بالجامعة الأمريكية ببيروت. حصلت على درجة الدكتوراه في علم الأنسان من كلية لندن للاقتصاد، درجة الماجيستير في العمارة من جامعة يال و درجة الماجيستير في الصحة العامة من جامعة جونز هوبكنز. بدأت علاقتها بالجامعة الأمريكية ببيروت عام 1972 كطالبة ثم كعضو في هيئة التدريس. قضت سينثيا قي القاهرة ما يقرب من عقد من الزمان وهي أيضا مؤلفة الكتاب الفوتوغرافي “باريس على النيل: العمارة في قاهرة الزمن الجميل” الذي تم نشره من قبل الجامعة الأمريكية في القاهرة.
عن مبادرة عين شمس:
عند الحديث عن مشكلات الواقع المحلي البيئي والعمراني ..الأسباب ، والمؤشرات ، وسبل الاحتواء .. لاينبغي أغفال دور الجامعة ، ذلك أن الجامعة ـ بالفعل ـ تكاد تجمع مالا يتوافر لغيرها من مؤسسات ، وجهات أختصاص .. ؛ فلديها مقومات البحث ، والقدرة علي التواصل مع مستحدثات الواقع ؛ لذا فخبراتها قل أن تخطئ كلا الأتجاهين : المشكلات .. البواعث والحيثيات ، والحلول .. وسبل تقريرها .
لأجل هذا كانت مبادرة جامعة عين شمس لخدمة المجتمع وتنمية البيئة المحيطة بها..
وفي هذه المبادرة فرصة لمشاركة أكاديميون وأعضاء هيئات التدريس من مختلف كليات جامعة عين شمس لعمل أبحاث عن حيّ العباسية. و تعتمد الأبحاث على العمل الميداني ،وتهدف الى الوصول الى نتائج قابلة للتنفيذ. وتهدف التجربة إلى الجمع بين تخصصات متعددة في سياق مستويات علمية متباينة كذلك تهدف إلى التعاون بين مع كافة الأطراف الأخرى المعنية بأهداف التجربة من خلال عملية متكاملة من العمل البحثي المرتبط بالواقع والذي ينمي داخل الجامعة روحا من المسئولية المجتمعية.
1. إنتاج أبحاث أكاديمية متعددة المجالات ،مرتبطه إرتباطا وثيقا بإحتياجات المجتمع.
2. تطبيق نتائج وتوصيات هذه الدراسات من خلال مشروعات تعود بفائدة على المجتمع.
3. إستغلال هذا النهج لتقوية العلاقات بين الجامعة والحيّ المحيط بها وبين مستويات الدراسة الجامعية والدراسات العليا.
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN BEIRUT NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE
A LECTURE BY PROFESSOR CYNTHIA MYNTTI
Saturday, 13 April 2013: 5:00 pm - Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University
In the context of a proposal for Ain Shams University Neighborhood Initiative - Proposed by the Department of Architecture in partnership with the Built Environment Collective - Megawra
ABOUT THE LECTURE
The Neighborhood Initiative of the American University of Beirut was launched in 2007 to encourage faculty and students to contribute to solving the problems affecting the district of Beirut located just outside the university walls. The Initiative is housed in the President’s Office, and works with academic and non-academic units across the university and a wide variety of stakeholders in the neighborhood and in government. Among the issues addressed are congestion, noise pollution, poor walkability, the near absence of greenery, an aging population, and growing disparities between rich and poor residents.
ABOUT CYNTHIA MYNTTI
Cynthia Myntti is Professor of Public Health Practice and Project Leader, Neighborhood Initiative, American University of Beirut. She received her PhD in social anthropology from the London School of Economics; a Masters of Architecture from Yale University; and a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins. She has been associated with the American University of Beirut since 1972, first as a graduate student and later a faculty member. Cynthia also spent nearly a decade in Cairo and is author of the photographic book ‘Paris along the Nile: Architecture in Cairo from the Belle Epoque” published by AUC Press
ABOUT AIN SHAMS NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE.
Any attempt to understand our local problems – their reasons, indicators and potential solutions – cannot afford to ignore institutions of higher education as principle stakeholders that are able to contribute effectively to the problem-solving framework. The contribution of universities ideally builds on a capacity for conducting research linked to a universal knowledge base and an ability to tap into an unrivaled pool of human resources taken from its students and staff.
In this initiative, academics from Ain Shams University come together to carry out research on the neighborhood of al-‘Abbasiyya - where the two Ain Shams campuses are located. This research is built on field research and is meant to produce results that can be applied in interventions for the betterment of the neighborhood. It is also meant to bring together academics from different fields (humanities – social studies – sciences) and different levels (post-graduate and undergraduate) and stakeholders from different backgrounds (academia – government – residents – civil society – CSR) in a process that orients the university towards a holistic realistic approach to research and builds within it an ethos of social responsibility.
The objective of this initiative is therefore threefold:
Learning from Cairo seeks to engage the current political and urban transformation unfolding in Cairo as a critical context for examining relevant international case studies and best practices in areas ranging from housing, transportation, public space, and local governance to informality. Learning from Cairo emphasizes a comparative and interdisciplinary approach bringing practitioners, academics, officials and local stakeholders into dialogue, with the objective of generating an ongoing critical urban discourse, and future visions for Cairo.
Friday, April 12th, 2013
Public Plenary sessions
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Oriental Hall, Palace Building
American University in Cairo
(Arabic and English translation will be provided)
9:00 - 9:30 am Coffee and Registration
9:30 - 10:00 am Opening Remarks
Urban Political Change: Southern Perspectives
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Khaled Fahmy, Department of History, AUC
Gautam Bhan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Delhi
Mokena Makeka, Makeka Design Lab
Mohamed Elshahed, Cairobserver
12:00 - 1:30 pm Lunch and Prayer
Right to the City: Emergent Practices in Latin America
1:30 - 3:30 pm
Heba Raouf Ezzat, Cairo University
Jennifer Bremer, Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, AUC
Lindsey Sherman, Urban-Think Tank, Caracas/ Zurich
Diane Singerman, Department of Government, American University, Washington D.C.; Tadamun: Cairo Urban Solidarity Initiative
3:30 - 4:00 pm Coffee Break
Cities in Transition: Public Engagement and Civic Design
4:00 - 6:00 pm
David Sims, Author of Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control
Damon Rich, Division of Planning and Community Development, Newark, NJ
Gregers Tang Thomsen and Selva Gürdogan, Superpool, Istanbul
Ayman Ismail, Department of Management, School of Business, AUC
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
(please register for one tour only)
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Tour 1. Urban Core
Led by: May Al-Ibrashy, Megawra
Mohamed Elshahed, Cairobserver
Tour 2: Desert Cities
Nabil Elhady, Cairo University
Rick Tutwiler, Desert Development Center, AUC
Tour 3: Informal Settlements
Yahia Shawkat, Shadow Ministry of Housing
Khaled Abdel Halim, Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, AUC
Kareem Ibrahim, Urban Development Consultant | Co-Founder of Takween ICD
Tours end with a joint lunch in Al-Azhar Park
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Parallel Working Sessions
9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Falaki Academic Center, American University in Cairo
24 El Falaki Street, Bab El Louk
Coffee and Registration:
9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Morning parallel sessions:
9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Session 1. Mapping Informality
Omar Nagati and Beth Stryker, CLUSTER
Gregers Tang Thomsen and Selva Gürdogan, Superpool
Discussant: Mohamed Elshahed, Cairobserver
Session 2. Evictions and Urban Citizenship
Gautam Bhan, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Delhi
Yahia Shawkat, Shadow Ministry of Housing, Cairo
Discussant: Joseph Schechla, Housing and Land Rights Network, Cairo
Session 3. Design Innovation and Urban Development
Mokena Makeka, Makeka Design Lab, Cape Town
Mohamad Abotera and Ahmed Zaazaa, MADD Platform
Discussant: Amr Abdelkawi, Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering, AUC
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.
Afternoon parallel sessions:
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Session 4. Community Activism and Avenues of Participation
Kareem Ibrahim and Diane Singerman, Tadamun
Damon Rich, Chief Urban Designer, Division of Planning & Community Development, Newark, NJ and Founder, Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)
Discussant: Khaled Abdel Halim, Department of Public Policy and Administration, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, AUC
Session 5. Security, Segregation and Borders
Aida Elkashef, Filmmaker
Lara Baladi, Artist
Omnia Khalil, Urban Action
Video presentations and panel discussion
Discussant: Samia Mehrez, The Center for Translation Studies, AUC
Session 6. Research/Design Interventions and the Informal City
Lindsey Sherman, Urban-Think Tank, Caracas/Zurich; Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, ETH Zurich
Dina Shehayeb, Shehayeb Consult
Discussant: Magda Mostafa, Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering, AUC
Closing Session, Oriental Hall
Oriental Hall, Palace Building
American University in Cairo
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
More information to come.
With support from the Ford Foundation
and the American University of Cairo
Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering, School of Sciences and Engineering
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
School of Business
The Architecture Students Association (AA)
Additional sponsorship by
Ahram Online’s Nada El-Kouny’s report on the one day workshop held last week at CEDEJ on informal urban development and government policies of evictions, among other related topics.
In an attempt to tackle the issue of informal housing in Egypt, primarily following the January 25 Revolution, a joint workshop initiative was held on Monday by the French Centre for Social, Judicial and Economic Documentation (CEDAJ), UN-Habitat and the German Agency for International Cooperation’s (GIZ) Participator Development Programme in Urban Areas.
The workshop, held at the French Cultural Centre in Mounira, Cairo, was attended by approximately eighty people, including urban planners, architects, sociologists, economists, and government representatives, all dealing with the issue of informal housing in Egypt.
The ‘Egypt Urban Futures’ workshop tackled the issue of informal housing—more commonly referred to as ashwaiyat (random) settlements—from a number of different perspectives.
Regina Kipper of GIZ said the main objective of the workshop was to launch a new platform on the urban future of Egypt and its challenges since 2011, by promoting dialogue between civil society, private and public institutions and academics in attempting to work towards sustainable development.
Dina Shehayeb of the Housing and Building National Research Centre provided a brief overview of informal housing in Cairo, stating the phenomenon goes back to the 1950s when there was a major wave of urbanisation, mostly due to the dismantling of the agricultural economy and the increased industrialisation.
Shedding light on more recent statistics, urban consultant David Sims, the author of Understanding Cairo: The Logic of a City Out of Control (2011), stressed there had been an exponential increase in the rate of informal housing in Egypt in recent years. For example, in Geziret El-Warraq in Giza the post-revolution rate of population growth has increased four and a half times compared to its pre-revolution rate, Sims said.
Moreover, the encroachment on agricultural land has increased at a much higher rate. In many villages in Egypt’s Nile Delta farmers have found construction more profitable than agriculture. Referring to a telling statistic, Sims stated that according to the Ministry of Agriculture, 29,486 feddans of agricultural land in approximately 700,000 separate cases, had been built on since the January 25 Revolution.
Conflicting outlooks were presented on the mechanisms used to deal with informal and unsafe housing since the January 25 Revolution, which led to some heated discussions.
Nahed Naguib of the General Organisation for Physical Planning said the issue of informal housing was caused by economic and social problems and her organisation’s work focused on containing the growth of informal settlements. New housing units were being created by the Ministry of Housing and municipalities, Naguib added.
Ashraf Mohamed, head of the informal housing department in Cairo, said: “Just like the Aswan High Dam was built to contain the flooding of agricultural land, we have to stop the increase of ashwaiyat.”
Providing a critique of such a view, Yahia Shawkat, architect and informal housing specialist at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), said the biggest threat to such communities “is the state itself.”
Shawkat also noted that the “real entry point to such a debate has to take into account the agency of these self-built communities that will continue to grow.”
He highlighted a number of cases of forced evictions from informal settlements. He mentioned Qorsaya Island, which has recently experienced violent clashes between police and residents who the army attempted to evict by force, claiming ownership of the Island, despite many residents living there for decades.
Likewise, the government has a controversial “Cairo 2050” plan to clear slums and develop the land. An example of this is Ramlet Boulaq behind the Nile Towers, which planners hope will be replaced with more lucrative projects.
Urban planner Omar Nagati provided a more holistic view on the issue:
“While government officials have attempted to reduce informal neighbourhoods and demolish them, it is important to rethink the way we talk about ashwaiyat. Today, all of Egypt is becoming informal, starting with the street vendors, microbuses, toktoks, etc.”
Link to original article: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/66652.aspx
Urban regeneration is natural and necessary, but given current development demands, an often nasty process. Referencing works in Turkey, India, Morocco, Cypress, etc; the discussion will focus on issues of cultural heritage, public space, policy, and dirty daily contemporary urban realities in search of alternative methods of operating.
Jason Hilgefort studied urbanism at The University of Cincinnati and architecture at UBC in Vancouver. His works range from New York to Bombay. He is a project leader at Maxwan A+U, and has his own office Land + Civilization Compositions. He is also a contributor to uncube magazine.
The Talk will be held at MEGAWRA on March 28 at 7pm.
D-CAF is coming back to Downtown Cairo,
opening its doors to the public from 4-28 April 2013
Egyptian contemporary artists and performers will be joined by leading international names in a month-long calendar of independent music, performing arts, film, visual arts, street performances and workshops.
For information on D-CAF 2013 program please visit: www.d-caf.org
and d-caf blog: www.d-caf.org/blog
[Alice, a play presented as a world premiere in this year’s D-CAF, by the Lebanese Sawsan Bou Khaled and Hussein Baydoun]
The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) opens its doors to the public for the second year, from 4-28 April 2013. After the successful launch of the festival last year, D-CAF is back with a rich program of contemporary performances and visual arts to be shown in historic locations and outdoor spaces in downtown Cairo. D-CAF is currently Egypt’s largest international contemporary multi-disciplinary festival and, throughout the month of April, Cairo audiences will enjoy a wide variety of independent theatre and dance performances, music concerts, visual arts exhibitions, film screenings and workshops.
D-CAF 2013 will feature some of Europe’s leading independent acts who will perform in Cairo - many for the very first time - alongside artists from Egypt and the region. For organisers this broad diversity of art forms and performers is what makes this festival unique: ” At D-CAF, we’re not presenting a single art form or a single trend. Rather, we’re trying to give Cairo audiences a snapshot of what is available, worldwide, in contemporary art today,” says Festival Director, Ahmed El Attar. “We’re trying to make the experience as varied as possible to cater to the widest possible audience”.
As a result of this focus, D-CAF’s month-long program of events will this year encompass around 130 international and Egyptian artists presenting work in a variety of art forms: this includes the D-CAF performing arts program which will include several internationally acclaimed acts such as Algerian Director, Kheireddine Lardjam’s play “End/Igne” performed by Compagnie El Ajoud and Anatomia Publica, a contemporary dance piece choreographed by renowned French choreographer, Tomeo Verges, who will also stage two original dance creations with Egyptian performers specially created for D-CAF. Dutch Theater Group, Hotel Modern, is also among acts featured and will bring their iconic theater piece “The Great War” to Egypt and the Arab world for the very first time. The D-CAF music program this year celebrates modern sounds representative of the streets and the revolution in a series of Thursday night concerts, throughout the duration of the festival. A star-studded line up of music acts will include America’s celebrity DJ Khadafi Dub, Tunisia’s Emel Mathlouthi and Egypt’s Dina el Wedidi and SADAT.
[The Dutch company Hotel Modern’s piece: The Great War.]
Building on the success of last year, D-CAF will once again present its Urban Visions program, a rich calendar of contemporary dance and performances taking place in the streets around Tahrir Square. These include the Netherlands Dance Group, 100 Hands who will be performing in Egypt for the very first time.
The festival’s visual arts program is this year curated by Cairo-based independent arts institution, Medrar for Contemporary Art, who will be exploring the digital frontier of contemporary visual arts through a series of collaborations between Egyptian and international artists. The D-CAF film program will explore underground and resistance cinema with a special focus on Contemporary West African Cinema. Meanwhile, the Edutainment program will offer a series of public seminars and workshops, including workshops for artists and for children delivered by Britain’s renowned Bootworks Theater Collective.
According to Ahmed El Attar: “We want to use D-CAF as a platform to attract, into Egypt, regional and international performers who are shaping the world of contemporary art but whom Egyptian audiences rarely get to see. The Festival also hopes to create opportunities for collaboration and cross-fertilisation between these international names and Egypt’s own thriving independent arts scene.”
From February 17 to March 6 the Townhouse Gallery hosted an exhibit titled 900KM Nile City, a project by Atelier Kempe Thill, baukuh, GRAU and edited by Moataz Faissal Farid and Pier Paolo Tamburelli.
The scale of the project is ambitious, it describes in text, video, maps, and photographs the narrow stretch of land from Aswan to Cairo where a series of settlements comprise a Nile City measuring 900KM in length. “It is an accident. There was never the will or the wish to create it; it just happened. The Nile City is a new city type that was formed simply by rapid population growth.”
While Cairo takes the lion’s share of the attention of urbanists interested in Egypt, 900KM Nile City looks the other way, at the urban settlements south of the capital which have mushroomed over the past five decades around previously established towns and villages. It also charts the state’s failed response to urban growth with its “new cities” or “desert cities” built on the edge of the fertile land to house population growth away from the valley and its settlements. It is from these settlements, where the economy has nearly collapsed, that thousands of migrants head to Cairo in search of work opportunities. The new cities built by the state are largely vacant, unused and failed on the social and economic levels to respond to population needs in addition to failing to negotiate the relationship between peasant society, its relationship to the land, agriculture and economy and its transformation into a semi-urbanized society relying less on agriculture as the state favors international importation of basic food stuffs over supporting local farming economies.
900KM Nile City looks at the current situation “with optimism, but without illusion” in an attempt to understand the urban and environmental features of this unique strip of land in order to begin to propose visions for moving forward. This has led the team of researchers to work in collaboration with multiple partners ranging from Assiut University, Berlage Institute, Sohag Governorate, and others to collect data and identify typologies, and existing networks. This data was then translated into readable graphs, diagrams, drawings, and maps. This process of abstraction is one that belongs to the long history of the profession of planning: raw data claiming to reflect reality in numbers must be transformed into legible consumable images and representations. The resulting images and maps are remarkable.
The photographic element of the project includes works by Stefano Graziani, Bas Princen and Giovanna Silva. The photographs range from landscape to street scenes. The accompanying video “It’s Countryside” incorporates commentary from specialists along with interviews by locals and footage from Sohag Governorate, where the project zooms in to capture a piece of the 900KM City.
Beyond documentation, research and visualization, the project also presents a proposal, a way forward on how to mend the situation in anticipation for further growth of populations and continuous loss of agricultural land. The proposed solution consists of urban belts linking existing Nile Valley towns with their desert city counterparts. Although schematic at its current stage, the proposal falls short of providing a nuanced approach to solving the problematic current conditions. There is a certain naiveté of believing that design is capable of solving such complex urban problems, where in fact I would argue what is fundamental to confronting the situation is sound policy, not design.
The voices from the communities heard in the video are proof that the primary complaints and struggles these communities face are rooted in ill-conceived state policies that then impact the designs and appearances of towns and villages and dictate their urban growth.
The state with all its hegemonic power over matters of economy and development intervenes minimally and often relies on “experts” and consultants to legitimize its top-down plans and proposals. During the panel discussion accompanying this important project the state was not represented nor does it seem to care.
The panel discussion held at the Goethe Institute was a lively event where the project was presented by its creators who also invited Cairobserver and Professor Nabil Elhady of Cairo University to present a critical point of view. The project, exhibition and panel created an opportunity for an important discussion to take place about the role of architects and planners and their relationship to society and the state, as well as about the specificity and peculiarities of the Nile Valley urban condition, and many other topics this ambitious project sheds light on.
Visit the website of the 900KM Nile City where much of the project’s content is available.
*scroll down for English
الورشة ستعزز من الحوار الفعال بين المؤسسات الحكومية والمجتمع المدنى والنشطاء والقطاع الخاص ومنظمات التنمية والباحثين وستعمل كذلك على فتح مجال للتعاون والتحالفات الإستراتيجية لبناء مستقبل حضرى مستدام فى مصر.
الورشة من إعداد مركز الدراسات والوثائق الإقتصادية والقانونية والإجتماعية CEDEJ وبرنامج الموئل التابع للأمم المتحدة UNHABITAT والتعاون الإنمائى الألمانى GIZ
الورشة ستقام بالمعهد الفرنسى بالمنيرة يوم الأثنين 11 مارس
“Informal Areas after 25 January 2011”taking place on 11 March 2013 at the French Institute in Cairo, Egypt.
The Workshop Series EGYPT URBAN FUTURES is initiated to build a platform for exchanging approaches, experiences, best practices, and opinions on issues and strategies concerning urban development for all stakeholders engaged in the field.
The first session of the series addresses the future of informal areas in Egypt after the January 2011 uprising, hosting a wide range of national and international speakers and participants.
The workshop is a joint initiative by the CEDEJ, UN-HABITAT and GIZ (Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas – PDP) and a continuation of the Expert Discussion Meetings on urban development that have been carried out monthly since 2008.
French Institute Egypt
1, Madrasset El Huquq El Frinsiya Street
For more information, click here.
Goethe Institut [5 El Bostan Street, Downtown, Cairo]
December 8, 2012
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Tamer El Said, Filmmaker, Co-founder of Cimateque
Heba Farid, Artist, Founding member of Contemporary Image Collective (CIC),
Project Coordinator of the Photographic memory of Egypt program for CULTNAT
Bruce Ferguson, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the American University in Cairo
Karim Shafei, CEO of Al Ismaelia Real Estate Developments
Ania Szremski, Curator, Townhouse Gallery
Moderated by: Mohamed Elshahed, Founder and Editor of Cairobserver.
This panel discussion explores the role that artists and arts organizations are playing in the development of Downtown Cairo. A direct dialogue between representatives of Al Ismailia Real Estate Developments and The American University in Cairo with artists and cultural organizations currently staking out cultural outposts downtown (including Townhouse Gallery, Cimateque, and CIC), the panel re-examines the classic appropriation of artists as catalysts for urban regeneration by real-estate developers seeking future gentrification. How might things play out differently in Cairo? How is Cairo different from other cities, such as New York and Beirut, where such cycles of gentrification have taken place? What role may the underutilized AUC campus play in providing a cultural anchor Downtown? What are the advantages and downsides of private sector partnerships between real estate stakeholders and independent artists and arts organizations? Through critical conversation this forum seeks to explore potential local strategies for sustaining artists’ access to the generative contributions they make to urban development.
This program is curated and organized by Beth Stryker and Omar Nagati/Cluster with support from the Ford Foundation and the Goethe Institut. It is part of a series of activities sponsored by the Ford Foundation that aim to provide a platform to facilitate communication and learning among Egyptians working on issues affecting the urban environment.
الفنانيين كمحفز للعمران
معهد جوته: 5 شارع البستان – وسط البلد
السبت 8 ديسمبر، 2012
من الساعة 6 إلى 8 مساءا
تامر السعيد، مخرج، الشريك المؤسس لسيماتيك
بروس فيرجسون، عميد كلية العلوم الإنسانية والاجتماعية، الجامعة الأمريكية في القاهرة
كريم الشافعي، الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة الاسماعيلية للتطوير العمرانى
انيا سريمسكي، المنسق، تاون هاوس جاليري
تحت إشراف: محمد الشاهد، مؤسس ورئيس تحرير كايرو ابزرفر
تسعى هذہ الجلقة إلى خلق حوار نقدى ما بين مطور العمران ومؤسسات مالكة لأرصدة عمرانية (الإسماعلية و الجامعة الامريكية) من جهة، ومؤسسات ثقافية وفنية ذات مواقع متقدمة فى عمران وسط المدينة (تاون هاوس جاليري، سيماتيك، مجموعة الصورة المعاصرة) وذلك لإستكشاف الدور الذى يلعبة الفنانون فى تطوير وسط المدينة، وتطوير رؤى بديلة ومستدامة للإطر المؤسسية والمالية للساحات الفنية والثقافية (منهم من يتعرضون لخطر الإنتقال خارج وسط المدينة بنهاية عقودهم الإيجارية قصيرة الأجل). وسوف يتم التعرض لأمثلة إقليمية ودولية بمدن أخرى من خلال رؤية مقارنة لدراسة دور الأرصدة االثقافية والإقتصادية فى تطوير الثراث العمرانى لوسط المدينة.
ينظم هذہ الجلسة كلا من بث ستريكر وعمر نجاتى بدعم من مؤسسة فورد ومعهد غوته. وهى جزء من سلسلة من الأنشطة التي ترعاها مؤسسة فورد والتي تهدف إلى توفير منصة لتسهيل الاتصال والتعاون بين المصريين العاملين على القضايا التي تؤثر في البيئة الحضرية.
Photo Cairo 5: more out of curiosity than conviction
14 Nov – 17 Dec 2012
Photo Cairo 5: more out of curiosity than conviction is a large-scale contemporary art project in Downtown Cairo.
14 November-17 December 2012
Preview: 8pm, 14 November
Artists: Mohamed Abdelkarim, David Degner, Ahmed El Ghoneimy, Samir ElKordy, Saskia Holmkvist, Iman Issa, Hassan Khan, Basim Magdy, Elizabeth Price, André Romão, Ben Russell, Hanaa Safwat, Sarah Samy, Noura Seif, Mahmoud Tarek, and Sama Waly
Townhouse Factory Space (information point)
Contemporary Image Collective (CIC)
Mahmoud Bassiouny st shopfront
PhotoCairo 5 is about ways in which reality is splintered and shifts of subjectivity are made. Involving international and local, emerging and established artists, this exhibition explores the ability of art to trigger affective responses within the viewer.
PhotoCairo 5 explores forces at play in reshaping reality, such as paranoia, the act of recognition, and altered states of consciousness. Bodies, materials and knowledges radically unreconciled to their political, architectural, institutional surroundings appear across the show: from the tale of a hysterical dancing spree near the site of the European Parliament, to an impossible monument to the revolution, and the absurd power dynamics of a re-enacted citizen’s arrest gone wrong.
The project takes its title from a passing comment in Harun Farocki’s Videograms of a Revolution, in which existing footage of the Romanian revolution of 1989 is narrated with attention to the position and motivations of the person filming. The comment refers to the decision – more out of curiosity than conviction – of a state TV camera operator to ‘glance’ the camera sideways at an emerging protest, against instructions. Farocki’s treatment of the material calls attention to this gesture over the depicted event. If art is to handle ‘revolutionary acts’, here the camera operator’s innocent curiosity and bodily uncertainty takes the place of grand representational gestures, yet crucially, allow us to witness the awakening of a radical reality.
17 November, Goethe Institut, Bustan St
Contributors: Mia Jankowicz; Angela Harutyunyan; Malak Helmy; Noura Seif, Mahmoud Tarek, Sarah Samy, and Sama Waly; Basim Magdy, Jasmina Metwaly, and May Al-Ibrashi; Hassan Khan.
Since early 2011, in common with many of their international colleagues, Egyptian artists have been subjects of a debate concerning their relationship to politics as artists, activists, or citizens.
This symposium aims to expand upon the oft-cited truism that it is nearly always ‘too soon’ to make art—not because this sentiment is not usually true, but because it tends to foreclose a reflection on what nevertheless goes on as a creative process in the exceptionally exciting ‘too soon’ moment anyway. Through examining this critically neglected space, and from a position of near-exhaustion, we might locate a link between the revolutionary moment and the artistic one.
Harun Farocki screening programme
24-28 TBC November, Beirut
Harun Farocki is a German filmmaker and artist best known for his experimental documentaries produced since 1969. In more than a hundred films and installations he draws our attention to the visible and invisible complexities of everyday life, consistently pushing formal boundaries with the persistent eye of a critical observer to raise questions dedicated to social coexistence, power relations, politics, the cruelty of warfare, and the growing dominance of capitalism. With his distinctive camera and montage techniques Farocki assesses the fabrication of perceptual habits and how it is altered by the advent of new technologies. In collaboration with Beirut, Cimatheque and the Goethe Institut, PhotoCairo 5 will present a series of screenings of Farocki’s works. The recurring theme of labour is the subject of the long-term international research project “Labour In A Single Shot” started jointly with film critic and curator Antje Ehmann. It entails a series of filmmaking workshops, the most recent being Cairo, realised by Beirut in cooperation with CIC, Cimatheque and the Goethe Institutes in Cairo and Alexandria. The screening programme will segue the concerns of the workshop and PhotoCairo 5.
The Edge of the Image screening programme
5-11 December, Cimatheque
The Edge of the Image is a work in progress programme that observes the filmmaker’s attempts to deal with the technological transitions of the medium throughout the history of cinematic language. Through five films and a discursive platform, and in the context of a time of larger transitions, this programme re-questions the transitional periods in cinema history, and investigates moments when the image has pushed its edge and risen up against its given boundaries.
In keeping with the educational remit of many Egyptian art institutions, and with CIC’s investment in peer mentoring in the last months, a number of artists are engaging in a process of peer mentoring in order to develop works specifically for PhotoCairo 5. Artist Doa Aly has mentored the artists Sara Samy, Noura Seif, Mahmoud Tarek, and Sama Waly. This process is also a form of research for Aly, who has been commissioned to write a text noting the tensions and issues of the formation of young artists; the process is a critically concentrated version of arguably the most successful way artists are ‘trained’: talking to other artists. The commissioned works can be found in the exhibition, and Doa Aly’s text will be published alongside the PhotoCairo 5 catalogue in March 2013.
PhotoCairo 5 is dedicated to the memory of Shaymaa Sabra, beloved member of the CIC staff who passed away on 28 October 2012.
Curatorial essay by Mia Jankowicz, click here.
For more information see the PhotoCairo 5 Facebook page.
CONFERENCE IN CAIRO: ‘REVOLTS AND TRANSITIONS IN THE ARAB WORLD: TOWARDS A NEW URBAN ENVIRONMENT?’
The CEDEJ, a French research centre in Cairo, holds a public conference on urbanism and the revolutions throughout the Arab world on November 7th-8th-9th
A French research centre on the social sciences, the CEDEJ is organizing a conference on the urban aspect of the current events that are re-shaping the region. The event will include short lectures by academics and experts on the region, followed by a debate. The final session on November 9th will include an open debate on the urban prospects for Egypt with actors of civil society, NGO members and policy-makers. The conference is open to the public and will take place on Wednesday the 7th (10h-19h), Thursday 8th (9h30-19h) and Friday 9th (10h30-16h30) at the French Cultural Institute of Egypt (IFE) in Mounira. The language spoken will be English and French (with automatic translation between the two). For further information, visit the CEDEJ website, or request a prospectus.
To download the pdf of the conference program, click here.