Art Comes to the People in the “City of the Dead”​

In 2015 – 2016, ARCHiNOS carried out work on conservation and adaptation of a grand reception hall built in 1474 by Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbey as part of a palace within his huge funerary complex in the Eastern Cemetery in Cairo. ARCHiNOS is currently conserving other parts of the complex. It was an entire “royal suburb”, including various charities and providing housing for the many people employed there – the “City of the Dead” was always also meant to be a city of the living. Nowadays too, the neighbourhood is home to a numerous community, mostly low-income.

The Sultan’s hall has been adapted for use as a cultural and educational hub serving this unprivileged community, and ARCHiNOS and its not-for-profit sister organisation The Sultan Foundation have organised numerous cultural events in the neighbourhood. As part of this effort, contemporary artists of different nationalities come to work in the neighbourhood and often leave behind their works. Watching the progress of their creative work always captivates the local inhabitants, and in many cases, the artists also carry out creative workshops for the local children and youth.

The projects “Outside In: the Art of Inclusion” (August 2015 -December 2016) and “Heritage for the Living in the City of the Dead” (ongoing) carried out by ARCHiNOS Architecture have been financed primarily by the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt. The programme of artists’ residences continues.

Project funded by the European Union

Choose from the list to learn more about the visiting artists and about the sponsors who made their presence in Cairo possible:

Iman al-Banna and ‘Amal Akhnukh

Egyptian, glass mosaic

July-August 2020

Raffaele Fiorella and Alessandro Vangi

Italians, 3D mapping installation

October 2018

Marco Colazzo

Italian, painting

September-October 2017

Stefania Fabrizi

Italian, painting, mural painting

Sept.-Oct. 2017 and Oct. 2018

Raffaele Fiorella

Italian, painting, sculpture, installation

September-October 2017

Giancarlo Limoni

Italian, painting

September-October 2017

Claudia von Funcke

German, installation: simultaneous projections

February 2017

Lindsay Sekulowicz

British, sculptural work in various techniques

January – February 2017

Esther Aldaz

Spanish, installation / live performance

December 2016

Franek Mysza and Ajron

Polish, graffiti artists

November 2016

Roy Hiller-Gießing

German, sculpture in stone

November 2016

Paolo Peroni

Italian, installation in different materials

October 2016

Iman al-Banna

w. students of the Badr University, Egyptian, Mosaic October 2016

Bettina Ammann

Swiss, mural painting

April 2016

Beata Rostas

Hungarian, sculpture in brick and stone

February 2016

Lydia Smith

American, mural painting

January 2016