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The Unhomely Prototype


Karabo Moumakwe






The Unhomely Prototype seeks to visual depict a collision of two lived and fictional experiences, one (of Huda Sharaawi’s biographical account) to the other (of Amina’s fictional and filmic account in Palace Walk and Bayt al-Qasryn respectively) by proposing a joint narrative/script. This script  informs the spatial characteristics which will attempt to distort  Amina’s lived experience contribute to the experience of feeling ‘unhomed/uncanny’,  guided by a card framework (The Double, Manifestations, etc), which is  informed by theoretical framework of Sigmund Freud’s uncanny (1990) and  Anthony Vidler’s unheimlich (1992) particularly in the home-place.

As Karel Deckers mentions that the unheimliche’s agency ‘is that it does not create novelty but rather re-creates something that already existed’ (Deckers, 2015, p.126) and concerns the ‘unravelling [of] a multitude of layers in which architecture is hidden and can be excavated’ (Deckers, 2015, p.126), the Unhomely Prototype proposes 3 composite drawings (mise-en-scenes) and scripts which a pair will align with the aforementioned instances Amina experiences. As Deckers also alludes that the ‘re-creative workings of the unheimliche allows a triple vision of an idealized past, present and uncertain future…’ (Deckers,  2015, p.92), the composite nature of these drawings experienced as  single instances or renditions, attempt to parallel Amina’s domestic  experience with the ancient harem (through rituals, testimony and artefacts), to subvert and morph gendered spaces and to compound Amina’s ‘flânerie’ to the shrine as a hypervisible woman.

The Unhomely  Prototype proposes multiplicity and doubling of experienced time and  geographies (the harem in the home) to not only unsettle the  protagonist, but also as commentary on the residual architectures and  gender dynamics that, through vanished time, haunt and affect our  experiences today.


Cairo, Egypt


Unhomely, Feminism Gender, Storyboard, Spatial dynamics, Film, Uncanny, Strange, Literature, New fictions

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