The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

J.G. Ballard Word: Alexandria and Dubai editions

Came across this fansite of the late writer JG. Ballard, creator of bleak urban dystopias, which finds abandoned amusement parks in Alexandria and the latest megaproject Dubai apt renditions of BallardWorlds.

Abandoned amusement park in Alexandria:


Egyptian Ballard World, developed by loyal Ballard fans for loyal Ballard fans, had everything the discerning JGB fan could possibly require: abandoned water bodies; derelict technology; dead monorails hanging against the sky like guillotines; construction works half finished, as if some terrible disaster had wiped out all traces of human life; masses of rubble and twisted metal forming complex cryptograms, their meaning inscrutable and remote, as if they were designed not for man, but for man’s absence…

As Ballard himself insists, you can’t breed out the deviant strains in our personalities without succumbing to totalitarianism, so is it too much to ask that the new chain maintains the high standard of the ramshackle, anarchic and exhilarating Egyptian Ballard World, without smoothing out the necessary roughage inherent in our daily lives?

Only time will tell…although time sickness, as Ballard fans know only too well, is the No. 1 curse of the modern age.

In Dubai:


The Dubai version is something more grandiose, a Drowned World where visitors can experience life after global warming has taken its toll. Pretty cool.