Ilyas's PhD focuses on the 1942 Universal Exhibition in Rome - a spectacular event designed both to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Fascist rule in Italy, and to assert the state’s imperial credentials among other Western powers. While the architecture of the exhibition played an essential role in the projection of an image of the regime and reflected its search for totalitarian idealism, Ilyas's thesis aims to analyse the ideological connections between politics and aesthetics that facilitated the proclamation of the new Italian Impero. By means of a comparative approach with other world exhibitions, he seeks to shed light upon the instrumentalisation of these events, to analyse how they became propaganda tools for the celebration of imperialism, nationalism and even Fascist ideologies up to the eve of the Second World War.
Supervisors: Axel Körner and Edward Denison
Working title: 'E42: The Fascist claim for universal authority'
Expected completion date: 2022
Conference papers and presentations
'Worthy of the mother country: British pavilions on the eve of the Second World War', Building Ruptures, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, October 2017. Published in conference proceedings.