critic: Eric Owen MOSS
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Ehab GHALI: What and Where?///
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution proved to be the beginning of an end in Egypt. On January 25, 2011 up-rises began in an effort to overthrow Hosni Mubaraks’ Regime. Millions of protestors from all socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the fall of Mubarak’s dictatorship. After continued weeks of protest and pressure, Mubarak resigned from office on February 11, 2011. Ironically though, what ended on February 11, 2011 marked the beginning of new and uncertain Egypt.
This project is a monument, a cityscape, memorializing the political and social efforts to democratize Egypt. It is an intricate maze of public spaces representing the diverse emotions stemming from the revolution. Democracy has been a promise in Egypt for more than 100 years. Revolutions have come and gone and so has the idea of democracy. With each revolution Egyptians have a new hope for democratic Egypt but that quickly ends as the dictatorial Egypt continues. Like a phantom limb though when that hope is cut off the feelings emerge again to accomplish the unaccomplished dream.
The revolution in Egypt was quickly followed by rebellions in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, and Syria. The rate at which this spread were like nodes of acceleration making millions of bodies fight oppression in different places at the same time. However, you quickly began to see the disharmony in movements. During feelings of joy and empowerment in Egypt you witnessed violence in Libya. In these mutating territories, you started to see a clash between the new revolutionary momentum and the old power that controlled all means of speed creation.
In Egypt, Mubarak’s Regime was overpowered by what started as a node in Eltahrir Square, but turned into a high speed force that saturated the nation with millions of bodies on the streets. The fast paced rhizomic synergy between bodies in the streets and instant forms of communication led to the reformation of the nation. This thesis hopes to visualize the assemblage, the capacity, and the essence of these substances i.e. the bodies and forms of communication as one collective thing.
Phantom limb is a physical manifestation of the revolution using spheres as a symbol of people, power and energy. It is visualized in the highest degree of abstraction. It also emerges from an ongoing interest in architecture acting as a real time feedback loop between collective urban activities. It uses a digital and animation technique to represent the growth, diminution, locomotion and alternation between bodies and instant forms of communication. These bodies are free, affirmative velocities that follow multiple lines of expansion independent from each other yet are interconnected. This interconnectedness warrants the monument that will become the new downtown district landmark. The formal and spatial vocabularies represent the political and social aspects that gather Egyptians together. The monument provides new indoor and outdoor public spaces that are currently lacking in the city. There is no doubt that this historical event influences the Architectural composition of Eltahrir Square.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
EG: Egyptian revolution, Earth; the pale BLUE dot (reel by Carl Sagan), politics, real time processes, Arab spring.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
EG: History, revolutions, monuments, democracy,cosmology, philosophy, simulation process, particles, real time simulation, amputated organs, nervous system.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
EG: Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Thom Mayne, Eric Owen Moss.
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