Vincent Battesti - |
English → Researches → Urban anthropology

Cairo (Egypt)

Regarding Cairo, the objective is to define the terms of use and behavior in public spaces and especially in public parks and the downtown, both “invented” in the nineteenth century by an urban reformist movement (this work therefore addresses also the morphology of places and their history).

These include the changing nature of public space in an Arab city, Cairo in particular, the invention of some of these places as public parks, and use that have Cairenes (of course, distinguishing between different types of uses and users). Thus, these two types of spaces are - in terms of its current popular users - in a process of “democratization” and at the same time - from the perspective of former bourgeois users (before turning 1960-1970) - in full degradation (and at the same time patrimonialization now that these spaces are beyond their control). The work is done primarily by observations and interviews with an anthropological methodology and a more bookish approach in its historical dimension. In addressing what I call “small urban natures” in my work on Cairo, is there a radical disconnect between the city of Cairo and the distant Siwa?

 See especially these pages:

 Some Public Spaces in Cairo: the Parks.

 The Giza Zoo: Re-Appropriating Public Spaces, Re-Imagining Urban Beauty.

 Have please also a glance at the keyword “urban”.

Wast al-Balad, shara’ Talaat Harb, Le Caire, 25 avril 2005, 20h 30.
View of Cairo, Egypt looking towards the Moccatam mountains. Photographed from a balloon from about 800 metres above ground. In the background, middle, is the citadel; in the background right one can see the “city of the dead”.
(Deutsch: Ansicht von Kairo, Ägypten, mit Blick auf das Moccatam-Gebirge. Im Hintergrund mittig die Zitadelle, sowie rechts die “Totenstadt”. Fotografiert aus einem Ballon aus ca. 800m Höhe).
January 30, 1904; first published in Spelterini, E.: Über den Wolken/Par dessus les nuages, Brunner & Co, Zürich 1928, p. 83.
By Eduard Spelterini, (1852–1931), Swiss pioneer of ballooning and of aerial photography.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Position: Cairo between street and space

Tuesday 26 January 2010 - Vincent Battesti

Video with Cairo in background.


List of gardens in Cairo

Saturday 5 May 2007 - Vincent Battesti

Work in progress… (sorry!)


Donwtown Cairo: Crowd movements.

Thursday 28 December 2006 - Vincent Battesti

End Ramadan’s festivities


Position: Cairo from the street

Tuesday 5 December 2006 - Vincent Battesti

Video of an American tourist.


Extract of an interview (research)

Tuesday 25 July 2006 - Vincent Battesti

First attempt to exploit on the Web fieldwork recordings.


Sample of Cairo Downtown ambiance

Monday 17 July 2006 - Vincent Battesti

At first, it is a distant murmur melted in the confused hum of the traffic...


Position: Cairo from the space

Tuesday 15 March 2005

Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Mosquée d’Ahmed-Ibn-Toulon [| (581) X| 800 || 132 KiB Ko

Prisse d’Avennes, in L’art arabe d’après les monuments du Kaire depuis le VIIe siècle jusqu’à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Vol. I, 1877.