The Visual Remaking Of Urban Space: Relocation And The Use Of Public Housing In "Modern" Cairo

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Visual Anthropology


Focusing on an urban group that was moved from the center of the capital during 1979–1981 to public housing in a neighborhood in northern Cairo,1 this article explores some of the strategies used by the relocated population to articulate their daily needs and cultural dispositions with the state's hegemonic construction of “modern” space. The discussion focuses on the visual manifestations of these strategies that localize change in durable forms. It is the visibility of these transformations, the article shows, that makes them important signs of distinction and markers of social status. At the same time, it is this visibility that transforms the housing project and remakes the image of Cairo that the state envisaged.

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