Exhibition as Site of Transgression

For the inaugural issue of MMD, Journal of Museum Studies, DAAR reflected on the role that exhibitions have played in their practice. Special thanks to Anna Rossellini and Alessandro Paolo Lena for their engaged questions and careful editing of the conversation.

Exhibited Thoughts of Architecture, Edited by Anna Rossellini, MM Journal of Museum Studies, Vol. 1, No. 1 – 2024, pp. 097-115, “Exhibition as Site of Transgression: An Interview with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti (DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Research)” by Alessandro Paolo Lena

Exhibition as Site of Transgression, an Interview with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti (DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Research) by Alessandro Paolo Lena

Journal of Museum Studies 

Join for Coffee: We Need to Talk

On the occasion of “When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor“, held during the pre-opening of the 60th Venice Biennale, for three days DAAR will host informal morning gatherings to collectively reflect on the implications of the devastating assault on Palestine and suppression of critical voices in Western institutions. Welcoming guests with a cup of coffee and tea, these morning gatherings are open to all those who feel the urgency to build new alliances among various struggles worldwide, opposing the normalization of permanent war.
April, 16,17,18, from 9am to 11am, Fondamenta Arsenale, Venice

Commoning the Private. Lectures in Paris and Tirana

April 2, 13:00 – 2024
École d’architecture
de la ville & des territoires
12 av. Blaise Pascal
77420 Champs sur Marne
Paris, France

April 4, 19:00 – 2024
Boulevard Art and Media Institute
at Destil Creative Garden
Bulevardi Zogu Pare 1001
Tirana, Albania

Over the last years, DAAR has started a series of experiments on commoning from the private. The practice of commoning should not be perceived as a static intermediary category between the private and the public; rather, it is an action, and living process. Commoning, as a verb, embodies a collective practice catalyzed by the agency and creativity of individuals, emerging from both public and private domains. In Western political thought, a distinct divide exists between the public, historically dominated by men, and the private, traditionally relegated to women for domestic unpaid work. Drawing inspiration from feminist emancipatory practices of commoning within the private space of the household and the Arabic notion of Al Masha, historically referring to undivided common land among farmers, we have initiated experiments in commoning as a form of collective inhabitation and sharing rooted in the private realm—the intimacy and emotional landscape of the house.

Our discussion will commence by reflecting on the very name of our practice, DAAR, which means “home” in Arabic and stands for “Decolonizing Architecture Art and Residency” in English. From its inception, we transformed our family home into a space of collective cohabitation for resident artists, architects, and activists interested in exploring the nexus between architecture and politics. Situated in Beit Sahour, Palestine, our home, DAAR, has evolved into the focal point of an extended community of people offering emotional and intellectual infrastructure to navigate life under Israel’s colonization, occupation, and apartheid. Moving on, we will examine Palestinian refugee camps as spaces of commoning and collective inhabitation—an urbanity of exile constructed beyond the dichotomy of the private and the public. We will explore how refugees have redefined the refugee camp from a mere humanitarian space into a political arena with distinctive spatial and political structures. In the latter part of the discussion, we will shift our focus to Europe and showcase recent interventions in the north of Sweden, where newly arrived refugees settle and reclaim the right to be hosts rather than eternal guests. The talk will conclude by sharing insights into two ongoing, unfinished projects in southern Italy. In Diso, Puglia, the practice of commoning takes the form of shared land, while in Borgo Rizza, Sicily, Italy, it manifests in the former entity of the colonization of Sicilian latifundium.

Refugee Heritage, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, March 19, 17:00 via Zoom

80% of Gaza´s population are refugees, their villages of origin are located just a few kilometers away. The Nakba, the expulsion of 2/3 of the Palestinian population in 1948 is an ongoing event of displacement. As its physical expression and material evidence, Palestinian Refugee Camps represent the suffering of millions of Palestinians. In a moment in history in which the population in Gaza is being either killed or expelled and homes being demolished, the right of return and Palestinian refugee camps remain a fundamental issue undermining peace between states, cultures, and religions.  The camp itself is the materialization of a crime and is in itself a question that calls for justice, land restitution and a change of power relations.

URL povezave:

Zoom: https://uni-lj-si.zoom.us/j/97674548133.



Before we begin, we would like to acknowledge our hesitation in engaging in this conversation tonight. The current repression in Palestine makes everything seem wrong and inappropriate. However, after discussions with numerous friends and colleagues at Columbia, we’ve decided to proceed to honor the struggles of individuals and groups against occupation, colonialism, and apartheid in Palestine.

We find ourselves in an unprecedented assault on Palestinians, marked by a highly dangerous escalation led by the USA government, coupled with a suppression of critical voices in Western institutions. Prior to our talk tonight, we were advised to avoid using terms like “ceasefire” or “peace” as they are considered controversial. The term “decolonization”, the title of tonight’s gathering is even banned on some social media platforms, curricula, and cultural institutions.

Columbia GSAPP Affirmations: Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, and Denise Ferreira da Silva

Destruction and Reconstruction

In 2019, DAAR and Studioazue in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing in Gaza, rehabilitated the 386 residential units that were partially damaged during the wars, constructed 207 additional housing units, and regenerated urban infrastructures and open spaces. Over the last weeks, Al Nada Neighborhood has been destroyed by the Israeli attack on Gaza.

Reinabiting the ruins. Architecture of Repair.

continue reading

Mourning in the Concrete Tent

Mourning in the Concrete Tent
Hosted by: DAAR – Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti –
Sharjah Architecture Triennial

Originally built in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem Palestine in 2015, the Concrete Tent in Al Madam Ghost Town is a space for collective mourning and solidarity with Palestine. While the tent is the basic element for the construction of refugee camps, it is also used for gatherings during funerals and protests. It is the material manifestation of the temporary status of refugees in the camps yet also symbolizes their right to return to their homes.

DAAR will welcome people at the concrete tent for three days. Participants are invited to share their experiences, emotions, and stories if they wish or remain silent.

Venue: Al Madam, Sharjah, UAE
Time: 11 and 12 November, 16:00 – 19:00
13 November, 17:30 – 19:30

E: info@sharjaharchitecture.org
T:+ 971 6 5262201


Call for Immediate Action to Architecture and Planning Programs, Organizations, and Individuals to Stand Against the Destruction of Lives and Built Environments in Palestine, and to Protect Academic Freedom

For the past five weeks, Israeli airstrikes have murdered over 11,000 Palestinians, nearly half of them children, by targeting homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches, universities, and other critical infrastructure. Many more are gravely injured or buried under the rubble. In addition, Israel’s siege has cut off supplies of fuel, food, water, and electricity, leading to death and illness from starvation and dehydration, and heavily impeding the ability to provide urgent medical care to infants, the sick, and the wounded. More than half of Gaza City’s housing units are destroyed, and over 1.5 million people are displaced. Such deliberate acts are considered both genocide–deliberately inflicting conditions of life to bring about the destruction of a group in whole or in part, and urbicide–deliberate destruction of built environments. The United Nations (UN) Secretary General has joined millions of protesters around the world in repeatedly calling for a ceasefire. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza has condemned ethnic cleansing and called for immediate ceasefire to prevent genocide in Gaza. In this intensification of the continued Israeli settler colonial campaign against Palestinians, in Jerusalem and the West Bank armed settlers and the Israeli army have accelerated all forms of colonial violence.

The disciplines of architecture, planning, and historic preservation have been historically complicit in regimes of violence and oppression. It’s vital to take a clear ethical stance against the destruction of lives and built environments. We stand in opposition to colonialism, militarism, apartheid, racism, white supremacy, and genocide in Palestine and around the world. We recall the historical role of educational and cultural institutions in anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-imperial, and anti-genocide movements, and refuse the current institutional silence as Israel continues to commit crimes against humanity. We refuse the false conflation of criticism of Israel’s crimes with anti-Semitism. We continue to stand in solidarity with Palestinians, as expressed in this commitment from 2021. We are aware that Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza implicates other states and organizations. Israel is not acting alone, and those remaining silent are complicit in the violence. We stand firmly in opposition to the silencing, bullying, and punishing of those speaking up for justice in Palestine and against Israel’s crimes, as well as the attacks against academic freedom on university campuses and in cultural institutions. Therefore, we:

1. Call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, ending the siege and allowing all humanitarian aid and press crews to enter Gaza, as well as for the return of Gazans to their homes and the prevention of an Israeli land grab;

2. Publicly condemn violations of academic freedom and freedom of speech within institutions, and commit to holding accountable those silencing and threatening students, staff, or faculty who speak up against Israeli state violence and the ongoing genocide and urbicide in Gaza;

3. Support student, faculty, and staff calls, letters, and educational programs for justice in Palestine and oppose retaliation, doxing, bullying, surveillance, misinformation, and the false conflation of criticism of Israel’s state violence with anti-Semitism. This includes safeguarding international students and workers from having their visas revoked, and protecting workers who speak out for justice in Palestine from any form of discrimination and harassment in the workplace; implementing procedures for addressing Islamophobia, anti-Arab, and anti-Palestinian racism and attacks on anti-war and anti-imperial faculty, students, staff, and publics including historically targeted Asian, Black, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim, and LGBTQ communities.

Authored by Architects and Planners Against Apartheid on November 14, 2023.
This call is open for endorsements until November 20, 2023. 

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Ente di Decolonizzazione in Roma at Museo delle Civiltà´+ Lecture Festival delle Periferie

In June we will continue our series of decolonial assemblies with all the people that feel the urgency to question modernist, colonial and fascist heritage, and continue to learn from different contexts and build alliances.

Besides the ongoing interventions in Borgo Rizza in Sicily, we continue our collective research by using the art installation “Ente di Decolonizzazione – Borgo Rizza”, consisting of the reproduction of the facade of the former entity of colonization of Sicilian latifundium, with a series of decolonial assemblies.

This latest activation will take place at the Museo delle Civilta´. The Museum of Civilizations has started a process of progressive yet radical revision that aims at questioning and rewriting its history, its institutional ideology, and its research and pedagogical methods.

The first activation of the “Ente di Decolonizzazione – Borgo Rizza” took place in May at the Mostra d’Oltremare in Napoli, which first opened in 1940. Conceived as a colossal exhibition to display the territories and people overseas in areas colonized by the fascist regime, it closed only 40 days after its opening, when Italy entered the Second World War. It has since had many temporary uses, from hosting refugees to a vaccination center. The second activation of “Ente di Decolonizzazione – Borgo Rizza” took place at Hansa Quarter, in west Berlin built in 1957 for the International Building Exhibition (Interbau). We were interested in exploring here how modernist architecture was deployed for the representation of a democratic Germany. The third activation took place in Brussels with groups and individuals working on decolonizing public spaces in the city.

Join us and take part in the activation of the installation in Roma at Museo delle Civilta´
June 8 and June 15 from 3pm to 6pm
for booking and more info write to


June 7, 5-6pm
Lecture, Festival delle periferie– Pelanda | Mattatoio, Teatro 1


2023.08.20_La Repubblica_p.28-29

Golden Lion for Best Participation to DAAR

VENICE, ITALY – MAY 20, 2023: DAAR – Alessandro Petti e Sandi Hilal has been awarded the Golden Lion for Best Participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, for their long-standing commitment to deep political engagement with architectural and learning practices of decolonization in Palestine and Europe.

At this time of celebrations and abundance, so strictly different from many difficult moments in which we swam against the tide, we are full of gratitude to all the people with whom we collaborate and build friendships. Taking the risk of producing an incomplete list, we want nevertheless to try to acknowledge the fundamental role that collaborations, relationships, and friendship played in shaping not only collective projects but also our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual trajectory and making this world more inhabitable.

We would like to express our appreciation to the municipality of Carlentini in Sicily, in particular to Salvatore Larosa, that took seriously and courageously our challenging question: how to reuse colonial fascist architecture? It has been a pure pleasure to work with Emilio Distretti, Sara Pellegrini, Matteo Lucchetti, Husam Abusalem, and Pietro Onofri. A special thanks go to the generous support received by the Italian Council, La Loge in Brussels, the Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Madre Museum in Naples, and the municipality of Albissola Marina,  and to the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

This latest chapter in our life could not have been possible without the inspiration, dialog, and collective work with: Walter Mignolo and Charles Esche with whom we share the common urgency to open an internal front of decolonization in Europe, to Eyal Weizman, with whom we created the first nucleus of what has become DAAR, to Salwa Makdadi, Galit Eilat, WHW, Rasha Salti, Ozge Ersoy, Nada Raza, Nora Razian, Antoine Schweitzer, Yazeed Anani and Reem Fadda for creating connections and contexts for creation; to Munir Fasheh who taught us how to give value to different forms of knowledge production, to Marie-Louise Richards, Tatiana Pinto, Roberta Burchardt and Hannah Clarkson for sharing the difficult task of creating meaningful learning environments; to Shahram Khosravi that made us feel at home in exile; to Magnus Ericson that has opened the doors to unconventional artistic practices; to Thomas Keenan, for his rare human and intellectual generosity; to Diego Segatto for always being present in fundamental transformations; to Jutith Wielander and Luigi Coppola for cultivating common dreams, to Pelin Tan, Ilana Fieldman, Elena Isayev, Shourideh Molavi for their friendship and collaboration, to Giorgio Agamben, Achille Mbembe, and W. J. T. Mitchell for their words of support that have warmed our souls in difficult moments.

Our gratitude goes to old friends with whom we shared our studies in Italy: Chiara Buffa, Giovanni Maggino, Andrea Petrecca, Francesco Brancati, Michele Brunello, Donatello De Mattia Antonella Diana, Antonio Scarponi, Matteo Ghidoni, Luca Racchini, Pietro Onofri, Diego Segatto, Francesca Recchia, and art way of thinking; to Stefano Boeri, for offering extraordinary possibilities of intellectual growth; to Bernardo Secchi and Giuseppe Longhi for the critical space provided during our respective theses; and to Luisa Morgantini and Silvia Macchi for supporting Sandi in her first years in Italy.

For the realization of Stateless Nation, we would like to thank Francesco Bonami for believing in us at the very early stage of our collective practice, Lanfranco Binni, Regione Toscana Porto Franco, and Vera Tamari, and the people that we met during our research: Khaled Hourani, Sari Hanafi, Ruba Saleh, Salman Natur, Rula Jebraen, Mustafa Barghouthi, Salman Natur, Suad Amiry, Omar Yussef, Hasan Karmi, Zakaria Mohammed, Ezz Aldin Almanasra, and Ala Hlehel. For the realization of The Road Map we would like to thank Multiplicity (Stefano Boeri, Maddalena Bregani, Maki Gherzi, Matteo Ghidoni, Anniina Koivu, Francesca Recchia, Eduardo Staszowsky), and in particular Salvatore “Taysir” Porcaro. Sandi would like to thank the amazing people with whom she collaborated when working at UNRWA: Muna Budeiri, Issam Mikdadi, and Philipp Misselwitz, who created the possibility for the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program at UNRWA to exist; Thomas White, the former deputy director of UNRWA in the West Bank who believed in the work and made it possible to never stop dreaming in a place like UNRWA. Sandi is also grateful to all the people who worked with her on a daily basis: Livia Minoja, with whom we spent a year designing the Shu’fat Girls’ School; Daniela Sanjines, for being a great friend and collaborator; Salam Sahoury for providing great assistance in all fields; David Kostenwein, Sami Al-Torshan, Hatem Joulani, Aziza Ghazaleh, Osama Jafari, and Sami Murra for simply being a great team. A very special thanks to all community members of Fawwar, Arroub, and Dheisheh refugee camps with whom we spent a lot of time negotiating, fighting, and dreaming.

We would like to thank all the participants of the DAAR projects and residencies: Barbara Modolo, Armina Pilav, Rana Shakaa, Manuel Singer, Alessandro Zorzetto, Roberto Sartor, Allegra Martin, Situ Studio, Mario Abruzzese, Jiries Boullata, Francesca Vargiu, Francesco Mattuzzi, Merlin Eayrs, Marco Cerati, Silvia Columbo, Elodie Doukhan, Chloe Athanasopoulou, Sebastiaan Loosen, Ahmad Barclay, Marcella Rafaniello, Maria Rocco, Mahdi Sabbagh, Bert Ruelens, Nina Kolowratnik, Salottobuono, Tashy Endres, Nicola Perugini, Sean Murphy, Marco Cerati, Ahmad Barclay, Amina Bech, Merlin Eayrs, Sebastiaan Loosen, Marcella Rafaniello, Maria Rocco, Mahdi Sabbagh, Bert Ruelens, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Nishat Awan, Ghassan Bannoura, Benoit Burquel, Suzy Harris-Brandts, Runa Johannssen, Cressida Kocienski, Lejla Odobasic, Carina Ottino, Elizabeth Paden, Sameena Sitabkhan, Amy Zion, Ghiath Nasser, Haneen Abo Khiran, Nick Axel, Jacob Burns, Arne Carpenter, Eduardo Cassina, Liva Dudareva, Nathan Witt, Dalia Abu Hashish, Lucia Maffei, Margo Van Den Berge, Sandy Rishmawi, Elsa Koehler, Isshaq Al Barbary, Mais Musleh, Luca Capuano and Carlo Favero,Vittoria Capresi, Emilio Distretti, Piergiorgio Massaretti, and Lorenzo Pezzani.

We are particularly grateful for the time spent with the Campus in Camps participants in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, who taught us so much: Qussay Abu Aker, Alaa Al Homouz, Saleh Khannah, Ahmad Al Lahham, Aysar Al Saifi, Bisan Al Jaffarri, Nedaa Hamouz, Naba’ Al Assi, Isshaq Al Barbary, Ayat Al Turshan, and Murad Odeh. The program could not have existed without the project activators: Brave New Alps, Matteo Guidi, and Giuliana Racco. Sara Pellegrini and Diego Segatto in particular contributed immensely in different moments of the program. Great inspiration was derived from dialogues and active engagements with Michel Agier, Ilana Feldman, Tareq Hamam, Ruba Saleh, Khaldun Bshara, Thomas Keenan, Ayman Khalifa, and Munir Fasheh, as well as the Campus in Camps team, Yasser Hemadan, Tamara Abu Laban, Ala Juma, and Dena Qaddumi, without whom the program could not have existed.

We would like to thank all the friends who took part in Ramallah Syndrome discussions: Yazeed Anani, Nasser Abourahme, Laura Ribeiro, Reem Fadda, Munir Fasheh, Omar Jabary-Salamanca, Yazan Khalili, Basel Abbas, Ruanne Abourahme, Manal Issa, and Wafa’ Abdelrahman. Thank you Galit for making the connection with Grupo Contrafilé, without which The Tree School would not have been possible. TC Silva, Deysi Ferreira, Eugênio Lima, Pedro Cesarino, and Solange Brito Santos were the amazing guests at Bahia tree school.  For Al Nada Social Housing in Gaza, we would like to thank Studioazue, Valentina Resente, and Federico De Nardo, who initiated the project, and the contribution from architects Riccardo Maroso and Gador Luque.

For the Al Madhafeh/The Living Room project, we would like to thank Yasmeen Mahmoud, Ibrahim Muhammad Haj Abdulla, Munir Fasheh, Ayat Alturshan and Ana Naomi De Sousa and the Public Art Agency Sweden—especially Magdalena Malm who believed in the project from the very beginning, and Joanna Zawieja, Marti Manen, and Lena From for accompanying the project and for providing their thoughts and amazing collaboration. Special thanks to the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture for supporting the project. We are grateful to the Foundation for Arts Initiatives, which has provided the necessary resources and conditions in crucial moments for our projects and structures to exist.

None of this would have been possible without the unconditional care received from our families, who provided the essential emotional and logistical support for our practice and life in common.

This award is a recognition that extends beyond just our specific work to encompass a broader community of individuals and collectives who are involved in unorthodox, undisciplined, and engaged experimental practices at the intersection of art, architecture, education, politics, and society.


Permanent Temporariness Seminar March 23, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Refuge is a temporary state caused by wars, climate change and social, economic and political crises. But what happens when a temporary situation becomes permanent? In recent years, the Permanent Temporariness condition imposed on refugees forced to live in refugee camps has spread to underprivileged sections of society, from precarious workers to immigrants and students. Reflecting on the displacement of Palestinian refugees and the plight of illegalized migrants in Europe, with our guests we will speculate on how to act within and against the state of permanent temporariness to challenge the status quo. With: Hayfaa Chalabi, Shafiq Kafar, Sarri Elfaitouri, Sharham Khosravi, Shafiq Omar Kakar.

The programme entails 5 sessions interrupted and connected by music, food, and group discussions

Hosted by Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti, Hayfaa Chalabi, Shafiq Kafar, Sarri Elfaitouri, Shahram Khosarvi

Session I
Refugee Heritage
Refugee camps are established with the intention of being demolished. As a paradigmatic representation of political failure, they are meant to have no history and no future; they are meant to be forgotten. The history of refugee camps is constantly being erased and dismissed by states, humanitarian organizations, international agencies and even by refugee communities themselves, who fear that any acknowledgment of the present condition in the camp may undermine their right of return to their place of origin. The only history that is recognized is one of violence and humiliation. Yet the camp is also a place rich with stories, narrated through its urban fabric.

In tracing, documenting, revealing and representing refugee history beyond the narrative of suffering and displacement, Refugee Heritage is an attempt to imagine and practice ‘refugeeness’ beyond humanitarianism. Such a process requires not only rethinking the refugee camp as a political space: it calls for redefining the refugee as a subject in exile and understanding exile as a contemporary political practice that is capable of challenging the status quo. The recognition of “the heritage of a culture of exile” constitutes a new perspective from which social, spatial and political structures can be imagined and experienced, beyond the idea of the nation-state.

Host: Alessandro Petti is a professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and co-director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) an architectural studio and residency program centre around the relation of politics and architecture. Latest publication, Refugee Heritage (Art and Theory, Stockholm 2022), and Permanent Temporariness (Art and Theory, Stockholm 2021).

music interval

Session II
Combat Breathing

What divides the world today is the right or lack of the right to breathe. Our world is a suffocating world, in which some people are not allowed to breathe. The illegalised people on the move who are suffocated to death in crowded trucks; travellers without papers who drown in the Mediterranean Sea; African Americans who are suffocated to death under the knees of a brutal racism. At the same time, growth-dependent fossil capitalism has caused environmental degradation and air pollution in major cities in the Global South, where breathing has become struggling. This is what Frantz Fanon called “combat breathing”. A suffocating world requires resistance. The “Black Lives Matter” and “Migrant Lives Matter” movements echo Fanon, who said that the colonised revolt because it has become impossible for them to breathe.
We cannot breathe! Can you?

Host: Shahram Khosravi is a former taxi drive and currently an accidental Professor of Anthropology at Stockholm University. Latest publication, Seeing Like a Smuggler: Borders from Below, (edited volume Mahmoud Keshavarz) London Pluto Press 2022; Waiting. A Project in Conversation, Berlin (2021)

music interval

Session III
Challenging institutional definitions of temporal experiences of asylum

In this session, we attempt to understand the term ‘‘non-EU citizen’’ as a transient identity that can be defined beyond institutional frameworks defying terms such as ‘‘migration crisis, alien, integration crisis, global refugee crisis’’. The aim of this session is to create a space in which we can collectively understand our attitudes towards temporal experiences of asylum in the EU. Together, we will create networks of care and tools of knowledge to acknowledge and question problematic expectations of accessing such identities. We will look beyond institutional definitions around experiences of asylum and instead, acknowledge our reproductions of politicised fear, apathy, and hate towards such identities.

Host: Hayfaa Chalabi is an illustrator and storyteller interested in the role of illustration to re-contextualise narratives, histories, and discussions. Chalabi uses her power as an illustrator and storyteller to spark discussions about different socio-political issues. Her work revolves around the misuse of power structures in our society and the intersections of visual culture, sexuality, gender, and migration. Currently, Chalabi works as a senior lecturer at the University of Arts in London (UAL).

Session IV
Libya’s Interregnum: Spatial archives of trauma and transformation.

This is a tale that traces temporal spaces that developed throughout Libya’s history as an ideological persistent and systemic pattern of “Emergency” making – shaped by the “transitional governments”, where the country has never in fact been in a stable political and economic state.. Political, cultural, economic, and spatial boundaries become blurred, full of gaps and open for endless reinterpretations.. The Libyan city grows monstrously through its intractable lines of flight, and urban informality overlaps, coexists, or sometimes even resists the state’s absence and informality, where official laws of justice and ownership are not activated. This liminal space created a new way of place making, or rather, a process of un-making space devoid of the rigid historical identities and myths.. This tale questions the current space and time in the Libyan city as what Antonio Gramsci called an “interregnum”… a permanent temporary space of violence, refugee, survival, but also transgression, resistance and potential transformation.

Host: Sarri is a 25 years old conceptual architect, artists, art curator, and cultural producer based in Benghazi, Libya, and the founder of TAJARROD Architecture and Art Foundation. Sarri’s work is centered on an interdisciplinary synthesis between architecture, art, and the social sciences, dedicated to generating a critical understanding and attitude towards the built environment, and to investigating contemporary socio-cultural issues, identities and ideologies, and their impact on architecture and cities.

music interval

Session V
The Living Room

Located between the domestic and the public sphere, Al-Madhafah, in Arabic, is the living room dedicated to hospitality. It has the potential to subvert the role of guest and host and give a different socio-political meaning to the act of hospitality. It seeks to mobilize the condition of permanent temporariness as an architectural and political concept able to challenge the binaries of inclusion and exclusion, public and private, guest and host. It activates the rights of temporary people to host and not to be eternally a guest, the right to claim life in the new destination but without feeling obliged to revoke the desire to belong to the life back home. Al Madhafah is constituted by a network of various living rooms activated in six different locations: the house of Yasmine and Ibrahim (1) and The Yellow House in Boden supported by the Public Art Agency Sweden (2), ArkDes Museum in Stockholm (3) Fawwar refugee camp in south of the West Bank (4), in the living room of Sandi and Alessandro in Stockholm supported by the Arab Fund for Art and Culture (AFAC) (5) and the at Vanabbe Musemm in Eindhoven with Shafiq Omar Kakar

Hosts: Sandi Hilal is visiting professor at Lund University and co-director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) an architectural studio and residency program centre around the relation of politics and architecture. Latest publication, Refugee Heritage (Art and Theory, Stockholm 2022), and Permanent Temporariness (Art and Theory, Stockholm 2021). Shafiq Omar Kakar born in Laghman, Afghanistan, immigrated to Kingdom of The Netherlands in 1998 where he now lives and works as an artist, curator and researcher. Shafiq coördinate The Van Abbemuseum Living Room ( Madafah) since 2019. He also coordinated The Madafah in U-Jazdowski contemporary art museum in Warsw Poland. He initiated a long-term research project called The Afghan Art Research Project in The Van Abbe Museum in The Netherlands.