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To Be Seen: Nubian Displacement and en-gendered Resistance in 'Public' Space.

This project investigates how gender relations become manifest in the design, uses and representations of the built environment of displaced Nubians, an African population that was displaced and resettled in 1964, under a development-induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR) scheme. It does so in order to develop a toolkit for designers who want to work with marginalized communities.Gender aspects of disposition and post-displacement architecture are both under-theorized themes in DIDR literature in general. Nevertheless, resettled societies are often averse to their built environment as it does not satisfy their cultural and socio-economic needs. Women in particular, often suffer great losses in their status and the quality of their spaces. The case of Nubians in particular is understudied in most of its aspects, as it was unavailable for independent research since 1960's. This research intends to fill this gap as it scrutinises from a gender perspective the spaces of displacement used by Nubians in Egypt. A single case-study approach is employed, as the research sheds light on the Nubian settlement of Qustul, a medium-sized settlement which is also the home town of the researcher. The research approach is largely informed by feminist literature and post positive epistemology. The project uses ethnographic methods for collecting and processing data, and especially auto-ethnographic tools that position the researcher as a displaced person, a Nubian, and a woman; all of which are factors influencing data acquisition and processing. The research has explored a toolkit with participatory observations, experiential drawings, and innovative mapping techniques in order to characterize other space dynamics, more concerned on the gendered experience. This research argues that spaces of forced resettlement act as a tool of spatial violence that disenfranchises displaced people, especially women. So far, the research has produced maps of spaces and spatial tactics that offer resistance against spatial violence. These maps will form the point of departure to extract ontological lessons about the gendered spatial production and the concepts of public and private space. Eventually, it will result in a moral and tactical toolkit for architects, urbanist, and planners.
Date:15 Jul 2018 →  14 Jul 2019
Disciplines:Architectural engineering, Architecture, Interior architecture, Economic history, Applied sociology, History, Architectural design, Art studies and sciences