DUST: Egypt's Forgotten Architecture

2006-12

Sarageldine Palace, Cairo, 2006

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“Dust” explores the conditions and relevance of empty architectural spaces in Egypt, presenting an entwined

dualism: dust as materiality that layers the city, literally tracing the passage of time upon urban objects – but also

as a temporal metaphor that registers these changes on the level of memories, both past and present.

Architecture constructed in Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th centuries – usually referred to as ‘Cosmopolitan

Architecture’ – is rapidly succumbing to neglect, a real estate frenzy and the overpopulation of the cities. These

factors lend particular urgency to documentation of these spaces. Since I first initiated this project

in 2006, a number of the locations depicted in her work have been demolished, while others have gone through a

process of renovation and modernization.

”Dust” is complex and multi‐layered in that its qualities not only span the artistic, but also have the

added value of documenting Egypt’s fading and forgotten architecture. In addition to the aesthetic value, this

series is also a valuable source of in‐depth information, baring long‐term witness to a country’s ongoing economic

and social changes. When I first embarked on this project in 2006, I was driven by curiosity. But with

Egypt coincidentally progressing though a momentous shift in its history, ”Dust” has come to illustrate an

economic stagnation, which has engulfed Egypt over the past three decades. My project underlines the

significance of documenting a country in its transformative phase, and highlights the urgency of reflecting on

Egypt’s history in order to understand its future.

“Dust” was completed in January 2011. The accompanying book , published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK in 2012, contains a total of 70 images from thirty locations in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Minya, Esna, Port Said and villages around the Delta, as well as an essay by On Barak of Princeton University.

Radio Cinema, Cairo, 2010

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 Bagous Palace, Cairo, 2011

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 Barbie room, Villa Casdagli, Garden City, Cairo, 2010

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 Villa Casdagli, Garden City, Cairo, 2010

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Class room in former Prince Said Halim’s Palace, Cairo, 2007

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Tuson Pasha Villa, Alexandria, 2009

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Sakakini Palace, Cairo, 2007

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Kitchen, Mahmoud Bassiouni street apartment, Cairo, 2010

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 Bedroom in Hela Faris Palace,Delta, 2010

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Tiring department store, Cairo, 2010

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 Kasr el Doubara, Cairo, 2008

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Former American Consulate, Port Said, 2011

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Marie Antoinette, Pension “Normandie”, Alexandria, 2009

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Rhinoceros, Agricultural Museum, Cairo, 2010
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Make-up Room, Radio Cinema, Cairo, 2010

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Sakakini Palace, Cairo, 2007

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Sarageldine Palace, Cairo, 2009

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 Sarageldine Palace, Cairo, 2011

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Amin Hagagy Palace, Esna, 2010

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