spatial practice and 
artistic research

ard el—lewa: inverse infrastructures, facts and fictions

research / video / workshop

artellewa art space
cairo (egypt)

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 design methods to craft a collaborative narrative interplay between reality and fiction, developing a critical take on the idea of the user-generated city: while the residents achieved something incredible, the fact that they had to undertake it reflects an absolute failure of public responsibility. cairo is extraordinary in all kinds of ways.

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in construction