#07, Tourism

Sight Seers
By George Pendle

On May 7, Alaa Abd El Fattah, my nephew, was detained by security forces in downtown Cairo at a demonstration in support of the Egyptian judges in their conflict with the government. He spent forty-five days in Tora jail. Three main impressions that stay with me from those days: 1. Manal, Alaa’s wife, and Laila, […]

The Pygmies Were Our Compass: On the Growing Import of Tourist Guidebooks
By Tirdad Zolghadr

Dirk Herzog,That’s exactly as I imagined it, 2004, travel agency, courtesy of the artist In the summer of 2004, the artist Dirk Herzog installed a makeshift travel agency in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood. In the project, titled That’s exactly as I imagined it, Herzog offered to edit his customers’ holiday footage for them. Get a trained […]

Artist Project: Intrepid
By Yaron Leshem

Yaron Leshem, Intrepid, 2006, courtesy of the artist

Redolent Delusions Nasir al-Din Shah and the Art of Indifference
By Naghmeh Sohrabi

Luigi Pesce’s portraits of Nasir al-Din Shah, 1852-55, Iran, salt prints, courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York “In the spring of the year 18-, the Shah-in-Shah, the great exalted and holy monarch, the absolute ruler and overlord of all the lands of Persia, began to feel a sense of malaise of a […]

Hotel Naderi Tehran Gone is Mrs. Kakoubian
By Negar Azimi

572 Jomhuri Avenue, between Ferdosi and 30 Tir Street, Tehran, Iran, tel +98 21 66708610 Just south of Tehran’s Ferdosi Square and deep in the city’s traditional Armenian quarter is Hotel Naderi, Iran’s very first hotel, or so its proprietors claim. The creation of an Armenian immigrant (arrived via Baku) who went by the name […]

Hotel Carlton Cairo: Cinema Cool, Negresco and the Japanese Pigeon Mission
By Negar Azimi

21 26th of July Street Downtown Cairo, Egypt, tel +20 2 575 5181 There are plenty of hotels in Cairo to choose from. Most that one hears of are of the multi-starred variety that have prime views of the pyramids, bring breakfast to your bed and have throngs of tourist buses parked out front each […]

Khartoum’s Hotel Acropole
By Elizabeth Rubin

Zubeir Pascha Str., Khartoum, Sudan, 11111, tel +249-1-83772860 If you really want to go to Sudan as a tourist be forewarned-not about the violence consuming Darfur, not about the repressive policies of the government. Rather, prepare for death by a thousand paper cuts. Bureaucracy you thought had died with the Soviet empire flourishes in the […]

On Pirates, Statisticians and Cruise Ship Directors. A conversation with Keller Easterling
By Nader Vossoughian

The Island Princess, North Korea Pirates, statisticians and orgmen, cruise ship directors and offshore gambling operators-these are the protagonists of Keller Easterling’s new book, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades, a text that examines the relationship between politics and architecture in contemporary culture. Why is it now snowing in Dubai? Why is The […]

Notes on Watching Syriana and Munich
By Bruce Hainley

Syriana, 2005 1. Saw Syriana as part of a two-part Clooneyathon a friend and I curated, impromptu, when we agreed to forego braving “Bareback Mounthim” opening day because it was playing in Los Angeles only at the nightmare “Art Deco-inspired” Pacific Theaters fourteen-screen cineplex in the middle of an “urban shopping village” called The Grove. […]

Ethnographic Tales Subjectivity = The New Objectivity
By Christopher Pinney

Autopticism revisited part 1: painted photograph of Christopher Pinney in the style of a memorial portrait, Sagar Studio, Nagda, 1993 In 2003, Shah Mohammed Rais traveled to the Frankfurt Book Fair to contest the objectivity of an account of his life. Better known in the literary world by the name of Sultan Khan, he had […]