Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery: Social Transformation through Art

Source: Middle East Institute
Author(s): Maria Golia

Original Link:

As the urban historian Lewis Mumford pointed out, “When a city has reached the megapolitan stage, it is plainly on the downward path: it needs a terrific exertion of social force to overcome the inertia, to alter the direction of the movement, to resist the immanent processes of disintegration.”[1]

Cairo, a megacity in an advanced stage of decline, experienced a demonstration of such force in January 2011, one whose outcomes continue to unfold. While political oppression and economic strife are well-recognized catalysts for revolution, there is a subtler agent of social transformation that has proved its regenerative power on a significant scale. Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery offers a prime example of how art and culture venues can instigate and nurture lasting change, revitalizing urban spaces and the communities they embrace while creating an atmosphere favorable to the growth of off-shoots…

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