Theses Master's

The City as Exhibition: Contesting Memory, Space, and National Identity in Cairo’s Maspero Triangle Abstract

Mahmoud, Mariam

The destruction of the Maspero Triangle, a previously low-income neighborhood in Cairo, places urban development schemes in Cairo as part of a larger framework of capitalist development. This destruction aimed to reconstruct a centrally located, Nile-side neighborhood in Cairo for the purpose of the creation of a specific spatial identity – an identity which necessarily came to contest the memory and community practices of what was there prior. Previous research has analyzed the notions of contesting memory, community, and identity in space, alongside an emphasis on the continuous destructions in Cairo and expansions away from the center of the city.

This thesis aims to historically center these destructions as part of an ongoing framework of development as opposed to a new strategy or policy that has been implemented at will. To do this, this thesis utilizes mixed methods, focusing on archival research through the Al Ahram digital archives for information on perspectives on modernization, development, and approaches towards Maspero since the project originally gained attention in the 1970s. From this, this thesis presents the idea that the current developmental framework approached in Cairo is one that places emphasis on spectacle as opposed to lived experience – one that presents the city as an exhibition for the purpose of further capital gain.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Bou Akar, Hiba
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 29, 2024