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Baneen Mirza

MA work

Greenwich [Dis-] orientation

This project is about Greenwich Maritime, London. The site which is home to the Prime Meridian – Zero Degrees Longitude – from where global time is measured. The fact that there’s a place in the southeast of London where you can be present in both east and west time zones at the same time, is often taken for granted but is a fascinating notion.

The initial impetus for this text was a personal orientation: a dialogue between Greenwich and Lahore, home in London and home elsewhere. Making connections between the two cities; pointing out to myself the similarities and differences. While some were mere coincidences and mental projections, there were actual architectural resemblances that brought to mind the British Empire and its travelling effects - an atmosphere perhaps - that traveled along the trade routes.

The text exploits the rising sun, ‘home’ and the Orient, all found in the East. It proceeds as navigation through the topography and architecture of the site, re-writing it as if it was a confluence of the East and the West.

The negotiation that occurs as result of such an orientation, between all these different places, is similar to when you travel. A bit like being in love - as suddenly all your senses come alive. You feel alert to the patterns of the world, and the unfamiliarity slaps you awake. It is in disorientation that you begin orienting yourself. And so, as a resident alien, the journey of orientation through Greenwich begins as a willful disorientation.


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, 2015

  • Degrees

  • BA Interior Design, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, 2011
  • Experience

  • Assistant Curator, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, 2013
  • Publications

  • 'Hidden Axis', Albertopolis Companion, Royal College of Art, 2015; 'Perspective', For Turner Contemporary; Writings on a Building, Royal College of Art, 2015