The Tunisia Office of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard Universityinvites you to: “The Urban in North Africa” - حديث في العمران
A Webinar Series Prepared and Moderated by Myriam Amri, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Harvard University.
Session 3: IN SEARCH OF OTHER MAPS OF EGYPT
Guest Speaker: Nermin Elsherif, PhD Candidate of Cultural Studies, University of Amsterdam- School of Heritage, Memory, and Material Culture
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 01:00-2:30 PM (EST) // 6:00-7:30 PM (Tunis)
Registeration link: https://harvard.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hcBXgDn_Rkym5zrQi6o1BQ
This talk will be conducted in English.
About the guest speaker:
Nermin is a PhD researcher in the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). She is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie INT Project ‘CHEurope’ . Nermin's current research is concerned with social media cultures in post-revolutionary Egypt. It examines how heritage discourses are co-produced over social media platforms to negotiate national and societal grievances. Prior to joining the university of Amsterdam, Nermin taught for five years between the German University in Cairo (GUC) and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AASTMT). Meanwhile, she worked as an architect and an urbanist in various heritage managment projects in Cairo. Nermin was also a part of vairous emerging new media practices and alternative learning inititaives in Egypt (2014-2017) that allowed her to experiment with the medium of maps. She led collaborative mapping workshops to visualize the counter histories of Port Said and Alexandria as part of the History Workshops Egypt, she also designed and taught the pre-master’s module “The Other Maps of Cairo” in the GUC in Spring 2016. Her MSc research "The maps of Cairo and the Making of the Modern State of Egypt: 1798 to the early 20th century" was awarded the GERSS-DAAD scholarship in HTW-Berlin.
Maps are artifacts of power, technologies of monitoring and controlling environments. They are also media that are constitutive of representations, capable of visualizing stories and shaping social imaginaries. This talk revisits and reflects upon an unfinished project titled “Other Maps of Egypt” that came into being during a moment of social and political upheaval (2014-2016). The project acquired various forms within and beyond academic institutions. It started as an academic thesis scrutinizing the relationship between colonial maps and the making of modern nation-state. It later developed to a series of collective mapping projects that were part of the History Workshops of Egypt (Ihky ya tareekh) to document the counter-histories of Alexandria and Port Said. Finally, the project acquired the form of an academic module for senior architecture students in the German University in Cairo (GUC) that aimed at experimenting with maps as urban interfaces to document intimate and unvoiced aspects of the everyday life of Cairo. By looking back at the fragments of this project, I question what does it mean to pursue counter-maps in moments of change? what is it to map? and who is to counter?
About The Urban in North Africa webinar series:
This lecture series is an interdisciplinary discussion platform to hear from scholars, artists, and filmmakers who think with and about urban spaces in North Africa. The series aims to showcase an expansive definition of the “urban” in the region, to examine changing cities, scapes, spaces, and sites, and highlight the various social phenomena that make the complex urban fabric of the region. We seek to locate how the urban is both the setting of transformation in the region and the object of transformation by discussing works that address subject-formations, political economy, spatial practices, and the environment. While urban spaces have long been at the forefront of projects of thought and of creative practices in the region, this series considers the urban “otherwise”, as ripped with intimate affects, political upheavals, and global capitalist transformations. What does it mean to see urban spaces in North Africa as sites of and for theoretical and aesthetic practices?