Graham Foundation Grant

Yasmine El Rashidi

Yasmine El Rashidi was awarded a Graham Foundation Grant for her research project Monograph: Ali Labib Gabr and the Decolonization of Architecture.

“This first-ever open-archive exposition of Egypt’s pioneering modernist architect Ali Labib Gabr (1898–1966), shifts and resituates the canon of architectural history and conversation towards an axis of the Global South. Gabr was the first dean of Cairo University’s Architecture School and a regular participant to international modernist conferences. Having studied in England, he brought back to Egypt a radically new way of thinking about buildings and design. Departing from the dominant European Beaux-Arts architecture that flourished under colonial rule, Gabr imploded ideas of what a building—even a mosque—could be. Clean lines, perfect curves, minimalism with attention to spatial poetics. Appropriating from modernist, art deco, and the coveted proportions of Renaissance grandeur, Gabr became one of the most sought-after architects in Egypt at his time. Future iterations of this work will be realized with historian Seif El Rashidi. Monograph is an extensively documented deep dive into Gabr’s work,piecing together a visual and historic portrait of a free-thinking Middle Eastern architect who played a pivotal role in changing Cairo’s urban identity.”

Learn more here.

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