Artists as Urban Catalysts
(This event has passed)


Tamer El Said, Filmmaker, Co-founder of Cimateque

Heba Farid, Artist, Founding member of Contemporary Image Collective (CIC),
Project Coordinator of the Photographic memory of Egypt program for CULTNAT

Bruce Ferguson, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the American University in Cairo

Karim Shafei, CEO of Al Ismaelia Real Estate Developments

Ania Szremski, Curator, Townhouse Gallery

Moderated by: Mohamed Elshahed, Founder and Editor of Cairobserver.

This panel discussion explores the role that artists and arts organizations are playing in the development of Downtown Cairo. A direct dialogue between representatives of Al Ismailia Real Estate Developments and The American University in Cairo with artists and cultural organizations currently staking out cultural outposts downtown (including Townhouse Gallery, Cimateque, and CIC), the panel re-examines the classic appropriation of artists as catalysts for urban regeneration by real-estate developers seeking future gentrification. How might things play out differently in Cairo? How is Cairo different from other cities, such as New York and Beirut, where such cycles of gentrification have taken place? What role may the underutilized AUC campus play in providing a cultural anchor Downtown? What are the advantages and downsides of private sector partnerships between real estate stakeholders and independent artists and arts organizations? Through critical conversation this forum seeks to explore potential local strategies for sustaining artists’ access to the generative contributions they make to urban development. 

This program is curated and organized by Beth Stryker and Omar Nagati/Cluster with support from the Ford Foundation and the Goethe Institut. It is part of a series of activities sponsored by the Ford Foundation that aim to provide a platform to facilitate communication and learning among Egyptians working on issues affecting the urban environment.