4 February 2023 - 31 March 2023

Extended Ecologies is a one-year, joint programme between Medrar in Cairo and the Critical Media Lab (CML) in Basel that aims to create and reflect the ways that extended reality (XR) technologies can transform our relationship with physical environments, and so ourselves and other beings. XR is not only to be used as a tool of mediation, augmentation or ornamentation but is also a tool for reflection and re-creation, a method of transformative research as well as a means of production. 

The capacities of immersive and surround media to artistically and creatively translate space, place, and evoke empathy and so potentially care, for places of concern and communities of practice, are foregrounded. In its formats, the program is able to bridge gaps between research and production, ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ spaces and problems, as well as facilitate the ongoing dialogue between Egyptian and Swiss and central European artists.  

Extended Ecologies aims to reflect and explore new possibilities of thinking and being in environments, in relation to their ecologies. The ways we relate to ourselves and to the world  call for focus on the transformative qualities of XR, and how the experiences it enables can alter our relationships to worlds, world-building and the environment we transform and inhabit. We are interested in issues related to the environment, climate change and ecology that can be explored in relation to the technologies of extended reality while sometimes using XR tools. 

By promoting research on ecological topics, alongside experimentation with XR digital technologies and artistic practices, the Extended Realities project invites us to question the role of practitioners, artists, researchers and people facing changes to their real habitats and landscapes. These altered realities will of course alter our extensions.

The Extended Ecologies consists of 2 phases:

1- Research Labs: Ecologies and Migrations  (February-March 2023)

2- Production Lab followed by an exhibition (July-August 2023) 

Phase 1 – Research Labs:


How can XR spaces become useful in the healing and caring for real environments and ecologies? Are there ways in which the new worldings that XR brings into play can help us understand the relations of existing physical beings, and how they scaffold one another’s existence and life?

The Extended Ecologies Research Lab: Ecologies. The participants from Egypt and Switzerland are:

  • Esraa Elfeky (Egypt) – Ecologies. 
  • Hoda El Safty (Egypt) – Ecologies. 
  • Iman Aram (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations. 
  • Leoni Voegelin (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations. 
  • Maryam Fallah (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations. 
  • Noha Essam (Egypt) – Ecologies. 
  • Sabah Elhadid (Egypt) – Ecologies. 
  • Ton Cortiella Valls (Switzerland) – Ecologies.


How could XR technologies be used to interrogate the notion of ‘borders’, ‘migration’, fringes, edges, or outskirts of territories. As a theme in classical VR and XR projects, this idea of a ‘land outside’ is to be explored in terms of its relation to actual migration crises, movements and borders in Europe and North Africa, and beyond.

The participants of the Extended Ecologies Research Lab: Migrations. The participants from Egypt and Switzerland are:

  • Agnes Michalczyk (Egypt) – Migrations
  • Dina Jereidini (Egypt)  – Migrations
  • Shrouk El Hariry (Egypt)  – Migrations
  • Farida Serag (Egypt) – Migrations
  • Iman Aram (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations 
  • Leoni Voegelin (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations
  • Maryam Fallah (Switzerland) – Ecologies and Migrations
  • Marwa BenHalim (Egypt)  – Migrations
  • Nadim El Hady (Switzerland) – Migrations
  • Omar Adel (Egypt)  – Migrations
  • Rayene Jemaa (Switzerland) – Migrations 


A publication titled “Extended Ecologies 2022-2023: XR Research & Production Lab” was made in print (it’s available for immediate purchase) and digital versions. The publication comprised the following research outcomes from the research lab:

To the Outlier, Refiguring is a Daily Practice by Dina Jereidini & Shorouk El Hariry

Curating Earth by Rayane Jemaa

Else-Scene in Anthropocene by Noha Essam

Heterotopic Pastures – Framing Land by Noha Essam

Embracing the Complexity of Identity by Nadim Elhady

Critical Urban Design Based on AI/VR Tools by Maryam Fallah

Beyond the End of the World by Leoni Voegelin

On Fake Nature and Manufactured Authenticity by Farida Serageldin Kamel

Cabinet of Curiosities by Agnes Michalczyk

How Can We Reflect on the Real World Issues and Alternatives through Virtual Reality Either as a Probable World or an Environment to Depict/Visualize Abstract Phenomena? by Esraa Elfeky, Iman Aram, Marwa Benhalim, Sabah Elhadid, and Omar Adel.

Visual identity by Tasneem Tawheed

The research lab guests

  • Anne Haaning
  • Morehshin Allahyari
  • Tony Patrick
  • Yasmin Elayat
  • Krzysztof Pijarski
  • Adnan Hadzi