Studio René Boer

René Boer (1986, he/him) works as a critic, curator and organizer in and beyond the fields of architecture, art, design and heritage. He is based between Amsterdam and Cairo and is a driving force behind the Failed Architecture platform. In recent years he developed a wide array of exhibitions, public programmes and research projects, often with a focus on spatial justice, urban imaginations and queer tactics. His current projects include Contemporary Commoning, an experimental exploration of the relation between art and (urban) commons; Terraforming Indonesia, a programme investigating and reimaginging large-scale land reclamations in collaboration with the ruangruapa collective; and Smooth City, a forthcoming publication on the obsession with perfection in cities worldwide.

selected projects
Architecture of Appropriation
Contemporary Commoning
Failed Architecture
Grounded Urban Practices
Post-Fossil City
Reimagining Cairo
Smooth City
Terraforming Indonesia
The Right to Build
Useful Life

Reimagining Cairo

Cairo’s 2011 revolution opened up all political horizons, kickstarted a new cultural scene and led to new ways of looking at the city. This manifested itself in particular in the independent cinema that flourished from February 2011 onwards. This research and curatorial project has assembled a wide range of cinematic works reflecting critically on Cairo’s changing urban landscape.

Still from Hala Elkoussy's In Search of a City.

Among the many works available, Reimagining Cairo focused in particular on the documentaries On the Road to Downtown by Sherief Elbendary and Bulaq: Among the Ruins of an Unfinished Revolution by Davide Morandi, and the video works Excursions in the Dark by Kaya Bekhalam, In Search of a City by Hala Elkoussy and Voices of a Revolution by Heba Amin.

Still from Kaya Bekhalam's Excursions in the Dark.

The selected films allow the spectator engage with and interconnect different temporalities, by stimulating the active excavation of the layers of the past, the examination of a mental map of the present urban condition and the haptical discovery of the source material of a future city. Together, these works offer critical new ways of understanding Cairo’s transitional phase.

Still from Bulaq: Among the Ruins of an Unfinished Revolution.

Still from Sherief Elbendary's On the Road to Downtown