Read my article “Fragmented City: Visualizing the City-Psyche Relationship of Cairo” included in this Spring’s online edition. The article is a condensed version of my thesis research.
Fragmented City photo
Abstract: Fragmented City seeks to address the urban landscape of Cairo and its emotional impact on its inhabitants. The visual characteristics of the city display the deterioration of urban life where masses of abandoned and haphazard structures attest to the government’s laissez-faire attitude in dealing with urban planning. As inhabitable structures take up space and resources, inhabitants of the city begin to clash, rather than coexist with their built environment.
I have explored visual re-interpretations of fragments of the city by translating and relocating visual information through various media. These visual manifestations attempt to portray an emotional experience and perspective of the current political and social climate of the region. I am working from the hypothesis that Cairo’s urban landscape negatively impacts the psyche and plays a significant role in influencing behavior. My visual explorations move from photography, to drawing, to web based environments, installation and projection work. By immersing the viewer in a particular environment, each visual displacement constitutes a re-assessment of scale and visual engagement intended to elicit sensations comparable to those experienced in physical space.
The 2009 Spring edition of the Journal of the New Media Caucus focuses on the theme “Foreignness and Translation in New Media“. Edited by Pat Badani, “The collected essays in this edition provide a thought-provoking expansion on the themes of “foreignness” and “translation”, subjects habitually explored through the lens of identity. The edition expands the discourse to examine different kinds of identifications, translations and geographies – opening up personal, cultural, physical and conceptual definitions. The essays explore the ways evolving technologies are being used by cultural practitioners to re-interpret and incorporate these notions.”