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Signing ’Sidewalk Salon’ by Manar Moursi
Onomatopee @ NY Art Book Fair
Saturday, September 17, 17:00


Onomatopee 114 / Cabinet project
Sidewalk Salon- 1001 Street Chairs of Cairo.

mini-exhibition and book launch during Dutch Design Week
17-25 October
open from 11:00 to 19:00 

Saturday october 24th, 16:00 


Onomatopee project space and book shop
Willemstraat 27
5611 HB Eindhoven 

Sidewalk Salon Cairo – 1001 street chairs of Cairo
is an intimate portrait of Cairo, seen from the thousands of street chairs on its sidewalks and the people who occupy them.

These far from perfect, used chairs, which populate Cairo’s sidewalks, speak of the city from below. Acting at times as zoom and as wide-angle lenses, the street chairs are used in this book as tools to explore intimate details and collective aspects of the city. If strictly speaking Sidewalk Salon Cairo is a photographic documentation of original chairs from the streets of Cairo, in a larger sense it deals with the material and human dimensions of a layer of the city. 

In addition to the polaroid photographs of the street chairs, various stories were gathered. Interviews with chair users as well as short pieces of fiction and poems inspired by street chairs, commissioned for this project, bring us closer to the occupants and owners of street chairs. Our roster of writers included the talented voices of Yasser Abd al-Latif, Al-Taher Sharkawy, Maged Zaher, Mohamed al-Fakharany, Amira Hanafi and Malaka Badr.


Manar Moursi and David Puig are the creators of Sidewalk Salon Cairo. The book is the culmination of three years of joint effort in which each of them brought their particular set of skills to the project. While David has extensive experience in writing, publishing and editorial work, Manar is an architect, designer and photographer who has worked on multiple projects on and rooted in Cairo. 

The visual identity and the design of Sidewalk Salon Cairo has been developed by Sandra Kassenaar.

Translations from Arabic to English were completed by Adam Talib, Robin Moger and Elisabeth Jaquette. Translations from English to Arabic were completed by Ehab Abdel-Hamid.

Made possible by: Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), British Council in Cairo and Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt. 


Sidewalk Salon- 1001 Street Chairs of Cairo.
Onomatopee 114

Manar Moursi and David Puig

Price: € 25,00    

ISBN: 978-94-91677-47-2

Softcover with 3 posters inserts
224 pages
7 3/4 x 10 inches

Combining Polaroid photography and texts in English and Arabic, this book presents creative practices of design that occur on the sidewalk along with the unplanned interventions in the public space that give Cairo its distinctive character.

Organized in two sections – walks and series–, the book gives the reader a glimpse into our method of urban empiricism and our journeys on foot through the city, in which we documented street chairs by indexing on maps the locations of the seats photographed.  The series sections reveal common formal characteristics of street chairs, while shedding a light on multiple techniques of recycling and redesign that people use to repair and improve their seats. Some of those series group together particular types of seats like armchairs and sofas, or curious pairs of twin chairs also found regularly on the pavement. Other sequences focus on the life cycle of chairs, showing different phases of their decay—from their amputations to their final collapse—or the miracle of their recovery with the help of various prostheses.

© Onomatopee 2011
Exhibition photography by Peter Cox
Exhibition photography by Peter Cox