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UC Berkeley


Leilani Main - The Politics and Aesthetics of Public Space

Kelly Leilani Main graduated in Spring of 2014, and has been accepted for the Master’s in Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the Fall of 2016. After transferring to Cal in Fall of 2012, she worked extensively with the Olive Tree Initiative’s efforts to bring a conversation around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to campus and developed the Art for Social Change deCal, a political printmaking workshop. After traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in the Summer of 2013, she became deepy interested in urban planning issues such as rapid urbanization, post-conflict reconstruction and resource conservancy. Leilani’s thesis was titled “Bombing the Tomb: Street Art as Memorial in Revolutionary Cairo” and looked at the aesthetic politics of memory in Egypt from 2011 – 2013 on the basis of materials in the Arabic; it has since been published in the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal 28(1). She completed an intensive summer program at the City Planning Institute at Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and is currently working with the Rebuilding Alliance, an organization dedicated to community-based design projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

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