The Concrete Tent, Dheisheh Refugee Camp, June 2015 (Photo Anna Sara)
In this particular moment of our practice based research trajectory and after having established DAAR and Campus in Camps, we would like to use the year of the fellowship as an opportunity to reflect on urgent political questions around refugeehood, exile and displacement.
Since our first work together, “Stateless Nation” for the Venice Biennale in 2003, a public installation made of enlarged travel documents and passports of Palestinian refugees situated between national pavilions in the Giardini, we have aimed to investigate and act upon the formation of different social, political and spatial relations between people, state and territory beyond the liberal notion of citizenship. These relations have been explored further for more than a decade, most recently through the project of the “Concrete Tent” in the garden of the Al Finiq Cultural Center in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, a pavilion that embodies the contradiction of the permanent temporariness of Palestinian refugees.
In this year long fellowship we hope to contribute to a better understanding of the limit and potentiality of socially engaged artistic practices in the greater struggle for justice and equality. The Human Rights Project will provide the fertile intellectual terrain for the re-conceptualization of refugee camps not only as humanitarian spaces but also as sites where the right to politics can be reclaimed. Furthermore, the Center for Curatorial Studies, its art community, library and archive will provide a critical cultural context around which to explore ways of making exhibitions as forms of research and political intervention.