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The Hybridised Home

Homemaking in Cairo’s Necropolis

Natalie Harper






Exploring  the ‘city of the dead’ a cemetery dating back to the 17th century,  which has become “One of the biggest necropolises is located inside  Cairo. It is unclear how many people are living in the tombs of their  families. Underneath the earth, several rooms are found. Migration,  expensive housing, and natural disasters drove entire families to move  into these Mausoleums and generations to be born in these conditions.  Unusual in their forms, these structures have more of a resemblance to  small houses than tombs .This project looks into the understanding of  homemaking in a queer site, the city of the Dead, Eastern Cemetery of  Cairo.

​By producing a series of prototypes that unmask, reveal and subvert the stigma of tomb-dwelling.

As the space dynamics of these mausoleums become hybridize, home-making takes course.

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.”(Baldwin 1956).

The project looks into the series of conditions that effect the people, i.e.  Reasons behind this phenomenon, the grave difficulties they experience and  ghosts of uncertainty. Research extends into the understanding of how  these people adapt to the conditions whilst also making a livelihood.

Some  of the research methodology will include model-making, drawing along  with practices of unmasking, transfer and resemblance of the  conventional home. Whilst looking at ethnographic drawings and digital  recreations as a way of creating an archive of prototypes that breathes  life into the to the subsistence of the downtrodden of Cairo…


City Of The Dead, Cairo


Conditions, Home-making, Transfer, Hybridized, Doppelganger of the Conventional, Material Culture, Place-making, Life & Death, Co-Existing, Above & Below

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