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Cairo CollagesEveryday Life Practices after the Event$
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Mona Abaza

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526145116

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526145123

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Conclusion: Making sense of the collage

Conclusion: Making sense of the collage

(p.169) Conclusion: Making sense of the collage
Cairo Collages

Mona Abaza

Manchester University Press

The conclusion summarises the main lines of the collage and raises the question as to whether the work has succeeded in drawing the connection between the large-scale political and social changes in Egypt brought on by the 2011 revolution and the smaller story narrating the everyday interactions of a middle-class building. The collages of four tales provided a myriad of divided snapshots: scenes of Tahrir Square and its protesters; of violence and the reinvention of public spaces in a moment of insurrection; of phantasmagorias in mimicking mini-Dubai(s) and Singapore; of mushrooming mega shopping malls; of the transforming neighbourhood of Doqi pushing away its middle classes, transmuting the ‘popular’ street into a site of lucrative commercial activities; of moving to New Cairo and compound life at the far end of an exhausting commute; of evictions in popular neighbourhoods; and finally of the militarisation of urban life. In view of this overt military rule, one main recurring question raised is how to trace the elements of continuity on a micro level, when the urban transmutations in post-January Cairo are so pervasive. Here, referring time and again to the groundbreaking work of Stephen Graham (2010), to what extent is the ‘new military urbanism’ actually new, when all but one of Egypt’s presidents since 1952 have been military men?

Keywords:   continuity or rupture in military rule, Egypt: Military Society (Abdel Malek), Cities under Siege (Stephen Graham), ‘state of exception’ (Agamben), evictions, martial law, state of emergency, emergency law, protest law

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