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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Exploring Egypt Seminar: Histories and Historiographies

Le lundi 20 mai 2024 à 18h00 (heure du Caire), DAIK géolocalisation DAIK

Making Histories of Family Collections
The Blurred Lines Between the Personal and the Public

Iman Afify & Yasmin Tarek Ismail

Partenaire(s) de l’Ifao : DAIK

Langue : anglais.

The 6th session of the seminar series 'Exploring Egypt: Histories and Historiographies', a joint initiative of the Ifao & the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo (DAIK) organized by Fatma Keshk & Malak Labib, will be hosted by the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo (DAIK) in Zamalek. It is open to the public in the limit of available places, and online through the zoom link here.

Shubra’s Archive (Sard for History and Social Research) is an independent archival community located in Cairo’s northern neighborhood of Shubra. Its creation in May 2021 began a mission to construct archival collections focusing on popular neighborhoods in Cairo and other Egyptian cities.

This presentation will provide an overview of Shubra’s Archive’s journey over the past three years, shedding light on completed and ongoing projects that aim to produce “histories from below”. Our comprehensive approach incorporates oral history interviews, written documents, and audio-visual archives, with an emphasis on capturing personal and family stories and trajectories. Through the exploration of archival letters that go back to Cariene’s different families from the 70s and ‘80s, we navigate and open up questions such as: How does the exploration of this paper’s collection of letters from the 70s and 80s provide insights into the social dynamics and personal connections of that era? How might the absence of the intended recipient shape our interpretation of the letters and their significance within modern historical contexts? What role do you think personal archives and collections play in preserving individual experiences and contributing to our understanding of broader historical narratives? In what ways can the usage of archives in a visualized, artistic way (such as the act of collaging) contribute to the process of knowledge production and to the reimagining of the past?

Iman Afify is an archive researcher and curatorial head at Sard for History and Social Research (Shubra’s Archive). She has also been volunteering at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo since 2019, as an assistant curator for temporary exhibitions. Iman’s work is usually concerned with questions of memory and perception and the affective turn, and she explores that through different aspects including curation, artistic and archival practices, and multimodal anthropology. Yasmin Tarek Ismail works as a researcher, archivist, and program officer at Shubra’s Archive. Additionally, she is pursuing her graduate studies at the American University in Cairo, majoring in sociology and anthropology. Yasmin’s research centers on archival practices and the use of archives in ethnographic research. She is also interested in the technicality of the archiving process including the digitalization, accessibility, and copyright concerns related to private and personal collections, with a particular focus on gendered archival collections.
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Exploring Egypt Seminar: Histories and Historiographies

A joint collaboration between the Institut français d’archéologie orientale (ifao) & the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo (DAIK), this seminar series aims, broadly speaking, to discuss different aspects related to the production of historical knowledge on Egypt. Speakers are invited to reflect on the different ways of writing, narrating and thinking about Egypt’s history at different periods, as well as on the actors, contexts, and power relations involved in the production of historical narratives. By adopting an interdisciplinary perspective, the seminar series seeks to bring into conversation fields which have traditionally been examined separately, such as the history of Egyptology, the study of modern Egyptian historiography, and the history of heritage and preservation.

In addition, while the seminar series seeks to shed a critical light on the formation of specific disciplinary fields and traditions, it also moves beyond an exclusive focus on professional history writing, in order to explore the various institutions, genres, and channels, through which historical narratives have been produced and disseminated.  Among the themes that will be discussed, for instance, are the different “histories” of Egyptology, archaeology or Arabic and Islamic studies, academic versus “popular” representations of history, and heritage preservation as a site of production of historical narratives.

Exploring Egypt: Histories and Historiographies Seminar is organised by Fatma Keshk, Postdoctoral fellow at DAIK & Ifao and Malak Labib, scientific member of the Ifao.