Tag Archives: architecture

A city building game for refugees to heal , give hope and dream of a better future.

Rest in peace #Beltrame , let’s all give the two fingers to IS !!

“ Two Digits to ISIS !!“ 150x100cm Hahnemühle Bright White Photo Rag mounted on Dibond, Inspired by my visit to Palmira’s 3D printed arch in Trafalgar Square.

How do you fill the empty space resulting from the complete destruction of what was once a city??
Recasting, restoration and 3D printing, and in some cases repatriation… so many issues around the reconstruction of war torn or nature devastated countries.
A good place to start would be a game.

Imagine providing all refugees with a free app, a game, a way of virtually visiting every inch of their hometown , where they can start imagining their future city by building , 3D printing and even landscaping in augmented reality. Kind of a Pokemon go game without the battles, where your personal avatar is free to wonder around his hometown with the ability to add, build and construct not only a house or a building but a whole city! Great way to encourage refugees to dream about going back to their homeland and give them incentive to go back and start a new future.

And while refugees ,are dreaming of their new city by playing the game, scholars, archeologists architects artists regulators etc can keep the discussion going.

What does it mean to copy an ancient monument or historical city ? Can a replica ever be as good as the original? What about “authenticity” ? To people who’ve survived death and destruction , authenticity might be less important than symbolism.
Some are still horrified at the idea of recasting and or 3D printing a historical city such as palmyra.

The whole argument of authenticity vs symbolism seems to me useless since first , what’s gone is gone, and so you are left with two solutions , either accept the disappearance of a city or simply reconstruct it, ideally using material from the site, to have a semblance of authenticity. But then, what if what was destroyed wasn’t the original anyway? Oftentimes, Artifacts, for so many reasons, have been replaced by replicas and the original have migrated and chosen residency in a foreign country. And so sometimes there is no way of really telling which artifacts are authentic . Head to Sfeir Semler Gallery whose few last shows seem to be meditations on authenticity from Yto Barrada, to Walid Raad or more recently Rayyane Tabet’s exhibition. Rayyane’s ongoing show whether intentionally or not opened once again the Elgin Marble’s debate, just like the British museum, where Rodin’s sculptures are juxtaposed with Athen’s Parthenon frieze reliefs and figures.
“Fault lines run through any claims on antiquity” and it might take years to reach a compromise between countries . In the meantime and while refugees are waiting for the proper time to go back to their war torn counties such as Syria, Iraq or to their hurricane devastated country such as Puerto Ricco, a simple computer game such as the one described above should help don’t you think?

The Kipling Spirit - roula Sorour

The Kipling Spirit , Hahnemühle Bright White Photo Rag mounted on Dibond, by roula sorour 150x90cm , Ed.1/1 – 2017 V&A Museum, John Madejski Garden, designed by Kim Wilkie, London, England, early 21th century ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspired by an article about Martin Ross resignation over the Brexit vote, the Kipling Spirit is a celebration of diversity denouncing the rise of nationalism and cultural insularity in Britain and Europe.

I’ve always sat in awe admiring the great brick facade of the V&A. Little did i know that Lockwood Kipling (Rudyard Kipling’s father)started his career as an architectural sculptor at the South Kensington Museum (later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum) . That wonderful exhibition made it so clear to me that Britain’s greatness like that of the V&A relies so much on cultural diversity.

Work in progress, my version of Courbet’s The Meeting (Bonjour Monsieur Courbet)

Inspired by Courbet's The Meeting Inspired by Courbet’s The Meeting[/caption]

I was in london the day Sursock museum reopened it’s doors , how exciting ! It must have been so festive and fun to be there! After years of renovation , now it’s up and running and I can’t wait to visit ! That same night I couldn’t help imagining an artist at the reception, rising above all the criticism that was being showered on her by curators collectors patrons and art experts!
Few weeks later I came across the below  article by  a very respectable art critic, where Courbet’s  painting was mentioned. What a coincidence! Turned out artist meeting art patron had been done before.  The roles of star and supplicant have been reversed it’s true but some artists and hopefully a majority remain as confident and independent as Courbet in The Meeting. The article  was a major criticism of the corruption surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach. It is no secret to anyone that corruption has been a major ingredient of the art market.


If you’r wondering about the dramatic shift in style, it may be explained by the extensive costume research I did to participate in the  costume design competition  for Luc Besson’s movie Valerian .

Here was my submission, I didn’t win but it was so much fun!

Happy holidays to all!!