Spatial Practice and 
Artistic Research

Ard el—Lewa: Inverse Infrastructures, Facts and Fictions

Research / Video / Workshop

Artellewa art Space
Cairo (Egypt)
Uncube
Failed States

2014

In 2011, in the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution, a community in cairo built itself four access ramps to the city’s 45-mile ring road. Living in an informal neighbourhood, residents of Al-Mu’tamidiya had long been bypassed and so they took matters into their own hands. I spent one month in an independent art space in Ard el-Lewa in 2014 to document this piece of infrastructure, the relations that enabled its construction, and the relations afforded by the process.

Later on, we hosted two workshops with local residents, students of architecture, law, engineers, making use of what we had found to imagine future infrastructural conditions. We used visual and worldbuilding methods to craft a collaborative narrative interplay between reality and fiction, developing a critical take on the idea of reverse infrastructure and user-generated city. That the residents achieved something incredible, in fact, could not hide the concurrent absolute failure of public responsibility.

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always under construction