Dust: Photographing colonial architectural heritage In Egypt

Nikolskaya, Xenia (2019) Dust: Photographing colonial architectural heritage In Egypt. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the possibilities and limits of architectural and interior photography as a complex method for the investigation, interpretation, and preservation of Egypt’s colonial architectural heritage from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This research is applied on a cohesive collection of original photographs produced in the period from 2006 to 2011, covering more than 30 locations in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Minya, Esna, Port Said, and villages in the Delta. This body of work was published as a monograph under the title Dust: Egypt’s Forgotten Architecture (Stockport, UK: Dewi Lewis, 2012), and was widely distributed internationally. Dust was the subject of curatorial attention, with exhibitions of the book’s photographs hosted by major cultural institutions, including The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Museum in Doha, Qatar; and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, France. The practice-led research focuses on a brief but remarkable period of Egyptian history. It makes a unique contribution to the field of interior and architectural photography in Egypt by identifying and mapping the country’s colonial architectural heritage and proposing a new narrative that disrupts and modifies the ways these spaces are seen today. Dust interpreted architectural heritage by employing an ethnographic research method that combines history, political economy, and social developments with architecture studies, while offering an understanding of how Egyptian people treat heritage in everyday life. The Dust project is particularly timely for Egyptian culture as the country experiences a transitional phase, raising awareness about the significance of preserving and closely studying national architectural heritage. It sparked a new interest in the subject matter in Egypt among local photographers and architects, as well as city planners, historians, and the wider public who were 4 exposed to colonial architecture through the pages of Dust.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries > School of Art and Design
Depositing User: Leah Maughan
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2020 09:56
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2020 09:56
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/12212

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