POLIS: ‘New-Stadt’?

Contemporary Architecture and Urban Development in Cairo and Istanbul

A new city in the desert, about an hour’s drive away from the centre of Cairo, is being built since 2004: New Cairo. Covering a surface of ca. 120 square kilometres, a sea of half-finished buildings surges up which look like a blend of haciendas and colonial-style villas. Originally intended to relieve the narrowness of Cairo, the new city is now turning into a tacky enclave for the upper middle class. What is the role of architecture in such an urban context, how does it define a city?

Sherif El-Azma deals with these questions by looking at an architectural model of Cairo that follows subjective principles and psychographic ideas. The presentation will be commented by Erik Göngrich with a statement regarding the symbolism of Istanbul’s architecture and its role in the present-day urban development, and by Maria Golia and Oda Projesi.

Artists’ and Experts’ Talk (in English)

With Sherif El-Azma (Artist, Kairo), Erik Göngrich (Artist, Berlin), Maria Golia (Author, Kairo),
Oda Projesi (artist collective, Istanbul) moderated by Bettina Springer
(Curator and Urban Researcher, Berlin)

Supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the DBI Verein für Bildung
und Ausbildung e.V. and the Allianz Kulturstiftung.

27 November 2009, 5:00 – 7:30 pm
Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Atrium/Exhibition



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