Emilio Distretti is a researcher and an educator, living between London and Basel (Switzerland). Previously, he was research fellow at the Kenyon Institute (Council for British Research in the Levant) in East Jerusalem and the Director of the Urban Studies and Spatial Practices program at Al Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences (AQB), in Abu Dis in Palestine. Emilio’s research and writings take on interrelated avenues on the critical and decolonial re-use of colonial and fascist architectural heritage in the Mediterranean (Italy, North Africa and the Levant) and in the Horn of Africa.
Imani Mason Jordan fka Robinson (b. 1992, London) is an interdisciplinary writer, artist & editor. Their research-led practice combines live art and performance, oration, collaboration, poetry and critical theory, exploring themes of black geographies, the afterlives of transatlantic slavery, abolition, radical resistance and the politics of safety.
Recent performance works include ATLANTIC RAILTON: LIVE with Ain Bailey at Serpentine Pavilion (2021); TREAD/MILL-WIP at Somerset House Studios (2021) & WELCOME NOTE (Quantum Ghost) with Libita Sibungu (Gasworks, 2018; Spike Island, 2019; Dartington Hall/Sensing the Planet, 2021). In 2019, they completed an MA in Forensic Architecture at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, where they developed research projects about object ontology, black geographies and the politics of safety; they published some reflections in the pamphlet, Objects Who Testify, published by PSS. Imani is one half of the artistic and curatorial collaboration Languid Hands, who were Curatorial Fellows at Cubitt (2020-2) and curators of the LIVE programme for FRIEZE 2021.
Bones‘ work is a spiritual practice that seeks to present an alternative, queer, optimistic dystopia. They work through ritual, meditating through craft, dancing through the veil betwixt nature and the other. Bones weaves a mycelial web of diverse, eco-conscious narratives which aim to connect, enthral and induce audiences to think more sustainably and ethically. Traversing pop music, sculpture, alter-egos, digital image and video work, Bones sanctifies these mediums as tool’s in their craft.
Bones is the co-founder of Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club, a physical and meta-physical self defense class for women, non binary people and QTIPoC, combining martial arts and magical/medicinal herbalism to create a holistic approach to self defense. Through community ritual and collective healing, the energy created at SSFC is powerful and creative. Fertile Souls is their community apothecary and survival skill share community which they founded.
Selected recent commissions/exhibitions include: Shanghai Biennale (2021) Athens Biennale (2021) Solo Show at Underground Flower Offsite (2020) Serpentine Galleries, London (2019) IMT Gallery, London (2019) Mimosa House, London (2018), ICA, London (2018-2020) Cell Project Space, London (2018) Gropius Bau, Berlin (2018) Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2016-17).
Venus is co-founder of Shadow Sistxrs Fight Club and a a sex worker, performance artist and facilitator who has been practicing self-defence for over twenty years. With a Black Belt in Karate and a Purple Belt On Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, she draws from her background in martial arts to devise workshops that explore agency and autonomy to address socialised beliefs around power, strength and survival. She is founder of Sex and Rage, a second worker and activist led organisation resisting stigma and shame through sex education. As an advocate for sex workers’ rights, she works to organise spaces that explore the intersections of sex work, survivorship, race and gender identity. A current student of politics and philosophy, her work is ultimately an exploration of the profound relationship between personal and social justice.
Patricia Domínguez Claro (b. 1984, Santiago, Chile) is an artist, educator, and defender of the living.
Her studies include a Master’s Degree in Studio Art from Hunter College, New York (2013) and a Botanical Art & Natural Science Illustration Certificate from the New York Botanical Garden (2011).
Recent exhibitions include Screen Series, New Museum, NY; Rooted beings, Wellcome Collection,
London (all 2022); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; Transmediale, Berlin; La Casa Encendida, Madrid (all 2021), How to tread lightly Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid; Madre Drone, CentroCentro, Madrid, and Cosmic Tears, Yeh Art Gallery, New York (all 2020); Green Irises, Gasworks, London; MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, Montreal; The trouble is staying, Meet Factory, Prague (all 2019); What is going to happen is not ‘the future’, but what we are going to do, ARCOMadrid; Working for the Future Past, SEMA, Seoul (both 2018), among others.
She has recently contributed to books such as Health (MIT Press/Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art, 2020), Season 1 Episode 3 for st_age from TBA21 (2020) and was the recipient of the SIMETRIA prize to participate in a residency at CERN, Switzerland (2021). She is currently director of the experimental ethnobotanical platform Studio Vegetalista.
Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including Tate Britain and Tate Modern, South London Gallery, Turf Projects, London, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, Wysing Art Centre, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, MAC VAL, France, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark and Art Tower Mito, Japan.
He studied Critical Fine Art Practice at The University of Brighton, MA Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art and recently completed a PhD by practice exploring the activation of Black Album covers through durational performance. He lives in Cambridge and works in London where he is currently a tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art.
Recent projects include a new video commission exploring the redemptive power of joy through social dance for the Wellcome Collection’s (London) season Joy and Tranquillity. Offeh, will be exhibited as part of Untitled, Art on the Conditions of Our Time, a major group exhibition of British artists of African descent at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, UK. Hail the New Prophets, saw Offeh realise his first major public sculpture as part of the Bold Tendencies exhibition in Peckham, London.
Marwa Arsanios was born in Washington in 1978. She currently lives and works in Berlin. Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose work can take the form of installation, performance and moving image. She reconsiders the political development of the second half of the twentieth century from a contemporary perspective, focusing on gender relations, collectivism, urbanism and industrialization. Her research work includes many disciplines and is deployed in numerous
Several solo exhibitions have been dedicated to her work: Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2021); Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana (2018); Beirut Art Center (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2016); Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015); and Art in General, New York (2015). Her work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions including: 3rd Autostrada Biennale, Pristina (2021); 11th Berlin Biennale (2020); The Renaissance, Chicago (2020); 2nd Lahore Biennale (2020);
Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2019); 1st Sharjah Architecture Triennial (2019); SF Moma, San Francisco (2019); 1st Warsaw Biennial (2019); 14th Sharjah Biennale (2019); Nottingham Contemporary (2017); Maxxi Museum, Rome (2017); Sursock Museum, Beirut (2016); Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2016); Thessaloniki Biennial (2015); Home Works Forum, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2010, 2013, 2015); New Museum, New York (2014); 55th Venice Biennial (2013); M HKA, Antwerp (2013), In Other Words, nGbK, Berlin (2012); or the 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011).
Her films have been screened at Cinéma du Réel, Paris (2021); Rotterdam Film Festival (2021); EMAF, Osnabrück (2021); Film Fest, Hamburg (2020); State of Concept, Athens (2020); FID Marseille (2019); tiff, Toronto (2019); RIDM, Montreal (2019); Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (2019); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011, 2017); Berlin International Film Festival (2010, 2015); and e-flux storefront, New York (2009).
She received the Georges de Beauregard International Prize at FID Marseille (2019), the Special Prize of the Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize (2012), and was nominated for the Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize (2017) and the Han Nefkens Foundation Award (2014). She was awarded the Akademie Schloss Solitude scholarship in Stuttgart in 2014 and the Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo Arts and Space in 2010. She is a co-founder of the 98weeks Research Project.
Nadine Fattaleh is a Palestinian writer and researcher from Amman. Her work focuses on spatial practices through cartography and film. She previously worked on projects at the Center for Spatial Research, Studio-X Amman, and MMAG Foundation, Amman. Nadine is currently the OSUN Fellow in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College.
Khaled Malas is an architect and art historian from Damascus. His primary research interests lie in the role of images and image-making technologies in producing and challenging the potential of places. At NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, he is writing a dissertation on medieval magico-medicinal bowls. Khaled is also the principal of Sigil, an art/design collective that seeks to explore the marvellous and terrifying metamorphoses of Arab landscapes marked by historical and contemporary struggles. He currently teaches at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
The performance-based practice of German-Turkish artist Murat Adash operates across expanded fields of choreographic inquiry with an architectural concern. Through the medium of movement, Adash creates choreographies in a range of media that seek to investigate how space is occupied, shared and transformed. Adash’s particular interest is to choreograph forms of interactions, through which to explore the ephemeral nature of physical boundaries – particularly regarding the dynamic edges between performers and their audiences and the spaces in which they come together. Recent exhibitions and performances include: Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco, 2021; Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul, 2020; Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, 2020; Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, 2020; Somerset House, London, 2020; Mimosa House, London, 2019; Le Commun, Geneva, 2019; Mumok, Vienna, 2019; Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, 2019; Barbican, London, 2018; Tanzfabrik – Centre for Contemporary Dance, Berlin, 2018; SALT, Istanbul, 2017; The Hangar, Beirut, 2017; Manifesta 11, Zurich, 2016; Alt Art Space, Istanbul, 2016; Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago, 2015; EXPO Chicago, 2014; Iceberg Projects, Chicago, 2013; Grimmuseum, Berlin, 2013; Motorenhalle, Dresden, 2013; Kriti Gallery, Varanasi, India, 2013. Murat Adash has recently participated in residency programs at Delfina Foundation (London), Utopiana (Geneva), Mountain School of Arts (Los Angeles) and is currently artist-in-residence at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany. Adash holds an MFA in Visual Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently pursuing a PhD in Art at Goldsmiths in London.
Orna Kazimi (b.1991, Afghanistan) is a visual artist based in London. Orna’s work and research explore personal encounters with migration in relation to collective memories of displacement through drawings, installation and writing.
Her works have been shown at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London 2018, Overpr!nt, Centre de la Gravure, La Louviere 2018, Art Amongst War: Visual Culture in Afghanistan, TCNJ Art Gallery, New Jersey 2014, 4th Afghan Contemporary Art Prize Exhibition, Queen’s Palace, Afghanistan 2013.
She was awarded the Caspian Arts Foundation Scholarship (2016) and studied at the Central Saint Martins in London (2018).
Joseph Henry is a designer and urbanist. He is the co-host of Sound Advice, a platform for exploring inequalities in architecture and the built environment. He is also a public servant working in spatial development in London and is a trustee of the Russell Maliphant Dance Company.
Dima Srouji is a Palestinian architect exploring the power of the ground, its strata, and its artefacts in revealing silenced narratives and embedded intergenerational memories. She works with glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film, understanding each as an evocative object and emotional companion. Her projects are developed closely with archaeologists, anthropologists, sound designers, and glassblowers. Srouji is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, and in 2016 she founded Hollow Forms, a glassblowing project that aims to reactivate the industry. As of October 2021, she is Tutor at the Royal College of Art where she is leading the MA City Design studio titled Politics of the Underground focusing on archaeological sites in Palestine.
Mo’min Swaitat is a London-based Palestinian Bedouin actor, filmmaker, music producer, DJ and archivist from Jenin. He trained at the Freedom Theatre, Jenin and arthaus (formerly LISPA), London and Berlin, before moving to London. He collaborated with the Arcola Theatre, Young Diorama Theatre, Rich Mix, Battersea Arts Centre, Albany Theatre Deptford, Theatre Temoin, Common Wealth Theatre, The Mosaic Rooms, Alserkal Avenue, Radio Alhara? and many others, working on solo and ensemble productions, with a focus on immersive, site-specific theatre and performances which blend storytelling, spoken word, music and movement. His debut short film Stones in Hand – an experimental piece inspired by his family archive – premiered on Ma3azef earlier this year. Since 2018, he has been one of the associate artists and creative directors of Sarha Collective, a platform for underground artists from the SWANA region. He is the founder of Majazz, an archive of vintage Palestinian and Arab vinyl and cassettes and a record label based at East London’s Finch Café, where he runs a residency programme where he has recently hosted artists such as Kamaal Williams, El Far3i and Beirut Groove Collective. He is this year’s Jerwood Arts grantee for the Live Work Fund.
Karim Kattan is a writer. He holds a doctoral degree in comparative literature from Paris Nanterre University. In French, his books include a collection of short stories, Préliminaires pour un verger futur (2017), and a novel, Le Palais des deux collines (2021), which were both published by the Tunis-based Éditions Elyzad. In English, his work has appeared in The Paris Review, Strange Horizons, The Maine Review, +972 Magazine, The Funambulist, and more. He was one of the co-founders and directors of el-Atlal, an arts and writing residency in the oasis of Jericho (Palestine). His writing was featured in the French Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, at the 12a Bienal Internacional de Arquitetura de São Paulo, at the MMAG Foundation, and in other venues. Karim is the host of Midnight Ocean, a show on Radio alHara that airs live at midnight every Friday.
Sofia Karim is a London based architect and activist. The incarceration of her uncle (photographer and activist Shahidul Alam) led to the development of her theories on an ‘Architecture of Disappearance’. She explores architecture as a language of struggle and resistance and re-examines its ideals of silence, truth, beauty and transcendence through the framework of her human rights work. Karim has practiced architecture for over 20 years studios including Norman Foster’s in London and Peter Eisenman’s in New York. Her practice combines architecture, visual art and activism. Her activism focuses on human rights across Bangladesh and India. Her work was nominated for this year’s (2021) Jameel Prize and is currently on exhibit at the V&A. She has staged protest exhibitions at Tate Modern (Turbine Hall) and has exhibited at the Rubin Museum NY and galleries in London, Chicago, Houston & Delhi. She is a visiting critic at Westminster school of Architecture.
René Boer works as a critic, curator and organizer in and beyond the fields of architecture, art, design and heritage. He is based between Amsterdam and Cairo and has been a driving force behind the Failed Architecture platform for many years. In recent years he developed a wide array of exhibitions, public programmes and research projects, often with a focus on spatial justice, urban imaginations and queer tactics.
Dirim Dinçer is an architect and researcher based between the Netherlands and Turkey. She holds an M.Arch in Architectural Design, and since her graduation, she has engaged in teaching, editorial and curatorial work. She has been part of Failed Architecture since 2020 as an editor and is a PhD candidate at the Borders and Territories research group of the TU Delft. Her research focuses on the interface between displacement, bordering practices, and modes of spatial representation.
Léopold Lambert is the editor-in-chief of The Funambulist. He is a trained architect, as well as the author of four books that examine the inherent violence of architecture on bodies, and its political instrumentalisation at various scales and in various geographical contexts (in particular Palestine, Algeria, Kanaky, and the French banlieues): Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence (dpr-barcelona, 2012), Topie Impitoyable: The Corporeal Politics of the Cloth, the Wall, and the Street (punctum, 2016) and La politique du Bulldozer: La ruine palestinienne comme projet israélien (B2, 2016). His new book is called?Etats d’urgence: Une histoire spatiale du continuum colonial français (Premiers Matins de Novembre, 2021).
Sadia Pineda Hameed is an artist based in Cardiff, Wales. She works in film, installation, text and performance to explore collective and inherited trauma; in particular, the latent ways we speak about this through dreaming, telepathic communion and secrets as an anti-colonial strategy inherent to us. Her practice is led by semiotic and associative journeying, the revivification of archives, and a trust in the intuitive process. She has a collaborative practice with Beau W Beakhouse, which dramatises, reconstructs and reenacts autonomous and alternate futures. Their work often takes the form of speculation, resistance and site-building at the intersection of performance and installation. Sadia Pineda Hameed has also shown work with The Bluecoat, The Mosaic Rooms, Chapter Arts Centre, g39, Arcade/Campfa, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Artes Mundi, National Museum Wales, MOSTYN, Gentle/Radical, HOAX and others. She was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Artists 2021, and is currently part of the g39 Fellowship 2022-24. She is also the co-founder of LUMIN, a print, radio and curatorial project.
Majazz Project is a Palestinian-led record label and research platform founded by Mo’min Swaitat in 2020. Over several years, Mo’min amassed an archive of rare tapes and vinyl from Palestine and beyond, spanning field recordings of Bedouin weddings to revolutionary tracks and synth-heavy 80s funk and jazz. Many of these were acquired from a former record label in Jenin in the north of the West Bank.
Majazz Project was borne out of the archive and is focused on sampling, remixing and reissuing vintage Palestinian and Arabic albums. It is a collaboration between Arab and non-Arab DJs, producers and artists interested in shedding new light on the richness and diversity of Arab musical heritage.
Palestine Sound Archive is a celebration of music, spoken word and album artwork from historic Palestine, mainly from the 1960s-1990s.
Alexander Faingold is an experimental musician/sound designer interested in audio-visual art. Currently pursuing an MA in Sound Design at the National Film & Television School, where he met Dani Arbid of Barakunan.
Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans installation, moving image, computation, theory, and performance. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at the 12th Berlin Biennale, de Young Museum, British Art Show 9, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, 12th Gwangju Biennale, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Matadero Madrid, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ICA London, Van Abbemuseum, e-flux, ZKM Center for Art and Media, and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo. Recent artworks have addressed fantasies of artificial intelligence, policing as mysticism, the crystal balls of Silicon Valley, time travel, and smart drug psychedelia. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council. Blas’s writings can be found in the collections You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Documentary Across Disciplines, Queer: Documents of Contemporary Art, e-flux journal, and other art journals and exhibition catalogues. His work has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, ArtReview, BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
Abbas Zahedi was born in London in 1984. He studied medicine at University College London, before completing his MA in Contemporary Photography: Practices and Philosophies at Central Saint Martins in 2019. Abbas blends contemporary philosophy, poetics, and social dynamics with performative and new-media modes. With an emphasis on how personal and collective histories interweave, Abbas makes connections whenever possible with people involved in the particular situations upon which he focuses. Abbas is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art (London), as well as teaching at universities across the UK and abroad.
Alice Bucknell is a North American artist and writer based in London. Working primarily through video game engines, her current work explores interconnections of architecture, ecology, magic, and non-human and machine intelligence. In 2021, she organised New Mystics, a collaborative platform exploring the practices of 12 artists merging magic, mysticism, and ritual with advanced technology, featuring texts co-written with the Language AI GPT-3. This summer, she is organising New Worlds, an event series at Somerset House Studios. She has exhibited her video work internationally, and her writing appears regularly in art, architecture and design publications. She is currently an Associate Lecturer in MA Narrative Environments, part of the Spatial Practices program at CSM. She studied Anthropology and Visual Art at the University of Chicago and Critical Practice at the Royal College of Art in London.
Samiya Bashir, called a “dynamic, shape-shifting machine of perpetual motion,” by Diego Báez, writing for Booklist, is a poet, writer, librettist, performer, and multi-media poetry maker whose work, both solo and collaborative, has been widely published, performed, installed, printed, screened, experienced, and Oxford comma’d from Berlin to Düsseldorf, Amsterdam to Accra, Florence to Rome and across the United States. Sometimes she makes poems of dirt. Sometimes zeros and ones. Sometimes variously rendered text. Sometimes light. Bashir is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Field Theories, winner of the 2018 Oregon Book Award’s Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry.
Yarli Allison and Yin Lo are UK-based multidisciplinary artists and writers who combine their skills to voice queer identities of diasporic Asians in the European context. Queerness, diaspora, sexuality, the body, gendered gaze, and technology are their main themes of interest. The duo has been working on various projects shown in galleries and international film festivals since 2018. Their first collaboration, the short film Elephant the Allison, was screened in pornfilm festivals including Berlin, Vienna and London. Later on, commissioned by Asia-Art-Activism with Something Human, the two produced audio work A Very Educational Bubble Tea Audio Porn, illustrating sexual encounters of a non-binary ‘dom’ and a ‘sub’ in Chinatown (aired via SOAS University Radio, 2019). The same year, Yarli invited Yin to collaborate for a multi-channel work In Virtual Return We (Can’t) Dehaunt, supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council and Canada Council for the Arts. It was exhibited with Videotage Hong Kong, 2020, and toured digitally.
Pranavesh Subramanian is a filmmaker, comedian and writer based in New Delhi, India.
Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and researcher whose work explores the interplay between aesthetic and political valences in the public domain. Solo and group exhibitions, performances, and expanded publications include Nottingham Contemporary, Pioneer Works, Parasol Unit, Serpentine Cinema, Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Art Dubai, New Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Sonic Acts, Triple Canopy, The White Review, Art in America and The Literary Review, among others. She has held numerous artist residencies and teaching posts across Europe, North America and the Middle East, and has published a wide range of artist books, chapbooks and literary translation. She lives and works in New York.
Arinjoy Sen is a recent graduate of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in London. His focus ranges from the politics and aesthetics of architecture to the instrumentalisation of spatial agents in socio-cultural and political phenomena. His work and interests have an acute focus on contested landscapes, citizenship, migration, narrative and spatial justice. Drawing plays a crucial role in Arinjoy’s work, where it becomes an incubator for the exploration of narrative and space. Current research occupations include subaltern studies — towards a deconstruction of architecture’s role within the realm of postcolonial discourse.
Duane Nasis (he/they) is a queer Filipino-British multidisciplinary movement artist based in London. With a movement background rooted in London’s thriving ballroom/voguing culture, Duane has explored a diverse range of practices from physical theatre, clowning and cabaret, to contemporary dance, gymnastics, and even lucha libre wrestling; developing a unique physical vocabulary that has seen them work for a range of clients such as Sadlers Wells, Robyn, and Marvel Studios. Most recently, Duane has worked on two separate dance films with Turner Prize-nominated British artist Anthea Hamilton for Turner Contemporary and Hayward Gallery, exploring themes of masculinity and non-linear time respectively.
Laura Mark is an award-winning architecture critic, curator, editor and filmmaker based in London.
She is the Keeper of Walmer Yard and runs the Baylight Foundation, where she curates a number of cultural programmes and projects which look at how we experience architecture. Laura is currently undertaking a PhD at Newcastle University which looks at our experience of domestic spaces and the museumification of the home through an autoethnographic study of Walmer Yard.
She is the co-lead for the first year undergraduate course at Sheffield School of Architecture and has previously taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University of Greenwich and the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. She also runs a unit at the annual summer programme – Studio in the Woods. At the beginning of lockdown, Laura launched a series of events titled the Virtual Unit, designed to support students who were now completing their studies at home. Laura has been a guest critic at numerous schools of architecture including Sweden’s UMEA University, Sheffield School of Architecture, Reading School of Architecture, Bartlett School of Architecture, Central St Martins, and the Royal College of Art.
Trained as an architect, Laura spent five years in architectural practice before joining the editorial team of the Architects’ Journal. She went on to become the magazine’s Digital Editor, where she oversaw a comprehensive redesign of its digital offering. Later she became the magazine’s Architecture Editor, looking after every aspect of its coverage. During her time at the magazine, Laura won numerous awards for her work including IBP’s Multi-Media Journalist of the Year in both 2015 and 2016. Laura now writes freelance for a number of publications including RIBA Journal, Dezeen, Icon, The Developer and the Architectural Review. She has also edited books and website texts for practices including Robin Lee Architecture, Feilden Fowles, Gort Scott and ZCD Architects.
She has directed a number of films including the documentary Zaha: An Architecture Legacy (2017) which has been shown at festivals in London, Milan, New York and Miami. Laura is currently working on a new series of films entitled Practice, which follow the studio culture of architects from Piers Taylor and Sam Jacob to Mary Duggan and O’Donnell and Tuomey. The first episode, which was released in February 2020, has been shown at the Dezeen Virtual Design Festival, Palm Springs Architecture, Design, and Art Film Festival and New York Architecture Design Film Festival.
In 2020, Laura was named by the London Festival of Architecture and the Design Museum as one of ‘an emerging generation of voices in architecture who are expanding the parameters of what architecture can be, who London is for and what its future holds’.
Marwan Kaabour is an independent graphic designer and visual artist from Beirut. He moved to London in 2011 to pursue a master’s degree in Graphic Design from the London College of Communication, then joined Barnbrook – one of the UK’s most formidable and celebrated design agencies – as Designer and later Senior Designer. His work with institutions, brands and individuals in the art and cultural sector ranges from creating visual identities, publication and exhibition design, to marketing campaigns, wayfinding systems and art direction.
He has worked with some of the world’s most exciting cultural institutions and publishers including Phaidon, Art Basel, V&A Museum, The National Gallery, Museum Brandhorst, Thames & Hudson, Serpentine Galleries, Hayward Gallery, Somerset House, and South London Gallery. He designed the much-celebrated Rihanna book, which was named as one of Time magazine’s best photo books of 2019.
He founded his own design practice in 2020, where he continues working and collaborating with artists and art institutions. In 2019, he founded Takweer, a platform that explores and archives queer narratives in Arab history and popular culture.
Memoona Zahid is a poet and Ledbury critic based in London. Her writing has appeared in Lumin Journal, The Runaways Project, Tentacular and elsewhere. She is an alumna of the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing Poetry MA where she was recipient of the Birch Family Scholarship. She is currently creating her first body of work.
Mira Mattar writes fiction and poetry. She is an independent researcher, editor, and tutor. Her novel, Yes, I Am A Destroyer was published in 2020 by Ma Bibliothèque and her chapbook, Affiliation, was published in 2021 by Sad Press. Her first collection of poems, The Bow, was recently published by The 87 Press. A new chapbook is forthcoming from Veer2. She regularly reads her work in the UK and abroad. Mira lives and works in London.
Eve Esfandiari-Denney is the current UEA Birch Family scholar and author of My Bodies This Morning This Evening, Bad Betty Press, 2022. Her poems have featured in The Poetry Review, Bath Magg, Prototype’s annual anthology and The Manchester Review, among others. She was shortlisted for The White Review Poets Prize 2021.
Zia Ahmed is a poet and writer from north-west London. He is part of the London Laureates, having been shortlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate 2015/16. He is a former Roundhouse Slam Champion and a Writer in Residence at Paines Plough as part of Channel 4’s Playwright Scheme 2017. In 2018 he was chosen to be a part of the Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers Group. In 2019, Zia’s stage debut I WANNA BE YOURS premiered at the Bush Theatre and he co-wrote PEACEOPHOBIA with members of Bradford Modified Club – a Common Wealth Theatre and Fuel Theatre co-production which is currently touring. He is a recipient of the Royal Court Theatre Jerwood New Playwrights Programme 2021.
Ariel Caine is an artist and researcher currently living in London. He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University and is a researcher at Forensic Architecture. Utilising cutting edge computational photographic and photogrammetric processes in combination with analogue archival media, Ariel’s artistic practice and conceptual research explore the co-constitutive relations of the state, religious nationalism and imaging technologies, seeking to both expose and challenge the ways in which the photographic apparatus is embedded in the logic of the construction of physical reality.
Mark Gergis, a London-based Iraqi-American artist, producer, and audio-visual archivist, is known for compiling and producing dozens of internationally renown releases for the Sublime Frequencies and Sham Palace labels. With a special focus on folk, pop, and hybrid pop-folk genres, highlighting unique artists and traditions from Syria, Iraq, and Southeast Asia since the early 2000s. With his current project, Syrian Cassette Archives, Mark aims to restore, preserve, catalog and share his collection of Syrian media from what can be called Syria’s cassette era (1980s-2010), which ended with the onset of the devastating Syrian crisis in 2011.
Syrian Cassette Archives is a project aiming to document, preserve and share hundreds of audio cassettes from what can be called Syria’s cassette era (1980s-2011). At the heart of the collection are over 500 cassette tapes acquired by audio archivist Mark Gergis between 1997- 2010, reflecting years of research and personal connections with local music shops, producers, distributors and musicians around the country. Many of these ephemeral tapes weren’t previously digitized, with a largely undocumented narrative before the 2011 war. Thus, the project finds urgency in mapping and preserving this facet of contemporary musical heritage for Syrians and the wider public via multiple platforms and mediums, including interviews with musicians and producers from the era. After Syria’s decade-long conflict, long-standing music circuits and traditions have been disrupted. The hope is that Syrian Cassette Archives can help stem the cultural amnesia and loss that can arise from these disruptions, and help bridge the gap between Syria’s analogue musical landscapes at the turn of the century and what residues of it remain digitally or online.
Yamen Mekdad is a sound enthusiast brought up in Damascus and based in London. Yamen’s music collection spans across folk to jazz, field recordings, experimental and electronic music from around the world, with a special focus on the geography of Bilad Al Sham, greater Syria. Yamen is one of the founders of London-based Makkam collective that organises different types of gatherings centred around music, a co-host of DanDana, a radio show investigating the greater SWANA region sound waves on SOAS radio, as well as a member of Sawt of the Earth collective experimenting at the convergence between sonic memory and social collaboration.
Yamen is a frequent contributor to multiple radios including Root, Balami, Radio Al hara among others. He is also currently involved in the Syrian Cassette Archives, where he is working as an assistant curator/producer alongside Mark Gergis and the wider team towards creating a web based platform focused on the Syrian cassette era. Yamen is also responsible for curating the musical program for an upcoming festival on Syrian art and culture that is due to take place in London this coming January.
Sadia Pineda Hameed and Beau W Beakhouse have been making work as a collaborative duo over the last four years. Their practice is concerned with alternate histories and archives, decomposition, speculation, staging, and revivification; and they continuously engage with text, disassembling relationships between language and colonialism. They have shown together with MOSTYN, Gentle/Radical, Arcade/Campfa, Peak Cymru and forthcoming with Experimentica, Chapter Arts; and have residencies this year with Tangent Projects, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, g39 – Jerwood UNITe and Catalyst Arts. They also run curatorial, print and radio project LUMIN.
LUMIN are a small press, curatorial collective and radio programme based in Cardiff, Wales. LUMIN is broadly the curatorial project of artists Beau W Beakhouse and Sadia Pineda Hameed which often looks to transform and liberate ideas of space; to create space that is radical, revolutionary, empathetic and open. LUMIN Press works through curation, care and dialogue, and is interested in archives, decolonising and democratising print, publishing and the arts, non-Western modes of communication and creating new models of sharing. They have spoken on panels about radical publishing at Cardiff University, Bangor University, the Open University, the g39 WARP symposium, and in the Festival of Voice and the Eisteddfod.
mother tongues is a transdisciplinary research-led project applying decolonial, feminist and queer pedagogies exploring language and identity. Their practice responds to language’s impact on personal and collective empowerment and aims for the democratisation of archival collections and knowledge production. mother tongues is formed collaboratively by Vania Gonzalvez, Kaya Birch-Skerritt and Marina Georgiou.
Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, journalist and cirector of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. Prashad is the author of thirty books, including Washington Bullets, Red Star Over the Third World, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. He is the Chief Correspondent for Globetrotter and a Columnist for Frontline (India). He is the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books (New Delhi). He has appeared in two films – Shadow World (2016) and Two Meetings (2017).
Anaheed Al-Hardan is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut. Her research is concerned with coloniality and resistance in relation to counter-memory, decolonial knowledges and south-south thought in the Arab World, and has appeared in Journal of Palestine Studies, Qualitative Inquiry, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies and International Sociology. She is the author of the award-winning Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities (Columbia University Press, 2016), joint winner of the 2016 Academic Book Award at the London Palestine Book Awards. Her current book project examines Arab decolonial theory within the context of south-south philosophies of liberation and decolonization.? She is a Principal Investigator on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded research program Afro-Asian Futures Past?.
Previously, Anaheed Al-Hardan was the Arcapita Visiting Professor of Arab Studies at the Middle Institute at ?Columbia University (2018), Visiting Scholar at the Bandung Humanism Initiative at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University (2018), Visiting Fellow at the Berlin Graduate School for the Study of Muslim Cultures and Society at the Free University of Berlin (2017), Research Fellow at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (2011-14) and a Doctoral Fellow of the Palestinian American Research Center (2008). She is a Fellow at the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Affiliated Researcher, Leibniz Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin.
Reem Abou-El-Fadl is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the Middle East at SOAS University of London. Her research interests are in the politics of nationalism, nation-making, and solidarity in the Middle East, and the connections between differing scales of political identity. Her book, Foreign Policy as Nation Making: Turkey and Egypt in the Cold War was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019. She is particularly interested in the politics of solidarity across the Arab world and is currently researching the intersections of pan-Arabism and Afro-Asianism in Egypt, focusing on the Nasser and Sadat periods. Reem is the editor of Revolutionary Egypt: Connecting Domestic and International Struggles (Routledge, 2015), and of the Arabic language memoir of Egyptian Africanist Helmi Sharawy, Sira Misriyya Ifriqiyya (An Egyptian African Story, Dar al-Ain, 2019), which she is translating into English. Reem is co-editor of the Egypt page at Jadaliyya. Her work has appeared in the Journal of World History, Nations and Nationalism, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, and the Journal of Palestine Studies.
Tariq Mehmood is a writer and filmmaker. He is Associate Professor at the American University Beirut and currently completing his first book on the Lotus project: The Poetry of Lotus and the Afro-Asian Writers Movement. Mehmood was one of the key defendants in the case of the Bradford 12, which established the right of organised and armed self-defense in the UK. This year will be the 40th anniversary of the rebellion of 1981. He is a writer & filmmaker. His latest novel is You’re Not Here: One brother goes missing in action in Afghanistan, the other falls in love with an Afghan girl in England. He co-directed the multi-award-winning documentary Injustice, which exposed deaths in British police custody. 20 years on, it is still banned from terrestrial broadcast in the UK. The follow-up Ultraviolence was premiered at the London Film Festival 2021 and will be launched at the BFI.
Fehras Publishing Practices (Sami Rustom, Omar Nicolas and Kenan Darwich) is an artist collective founded in 2015 in Berlin. It researches the history and presence of publishing and its entanglement in the socio-political and cultural sphere in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Arab diaspora. It observes publishing as a possibility for creating, and accumulating knowledge and initiate projects in different formats such as installations, films, publications, lectures and performances aiming to extend the notion of publishing.
Recent projects include Lip-Sing For Your Art!, A Bilingual Karaoke, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain OCCITANIE / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sète (2020); Borrowed Faces. Issue No. 01, MMAG Foundation, Amman (2020); Borrowed Faces. Stories of Publishers during the Cold War, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin (2019); When the Library Was Stolen. On the Private Archive of Abd Al-Rahman Munif, Kampnagel, Hamburg (2018); Disappearances. Appearances. Publishing, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2018); When the Library Was Stolen, book launch and public talk, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2018); Soapy Post-modern Bathwater, Sharjah Biennale 13, Tamawuj, Sharjah (2017); Series of Disappearances, Villa Romana, Florence (2017); Waiting Trajectory, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017).
Elizabeth M. Holt is a literary historian and serves as associate professor of Arabic at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, where she co-directs the Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic programs. She is finishing a new book entitled Imperious Plots: Cultural Infiltration and Arabic Literature in the Cold War, and has recently published articles on resistance literature and the Cold War in Beirut in the Journal of Palestine Studies, and on Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih’s CCF-published novel Season of Migration to the North in Research in African Literatures. Drawing upon extensive archival research, the book-length study shows that Arabic literature was a pivotal terrain of the cultural Cold War, through which the CIA infiltrated the increasingly Soviet-sponsored (if often Mao-inspired) cultural production of the Third World. The project has received generous support from the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin’s Europe in the Middle East/the Middle East in Europe (EUME) program, and Bard College.
Holt is a founding member of Bard’s Translation and Translatability Initiative, and is the author of Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel (Fordham UP 2017). The book reads early Arabic novels of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Beirut and Cairo as fictions of global finance in the Eastern Mediterranean. Research was generously supported through a Fulbright IIE Grant to Cairo, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the American Research Center in Cairo, numerous smaller grants from Columbia University and Bard College, and a sabbatical from Bard spent as a research associate at the American University of Beirut. This funding allowed for extensive research in libraries and archives in Cairo, Beirut, Nantes, Aix-en-Provence, and in the New York area. She is at work on two new projects: a materialist study of ‘petroculture’ and the Arabic novel; and Arabic at Sea, on maritime mercantilism and Arabic storytelling from the fourteenth century.
Michael Talbot is Senior Lecturer in the History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Middle East at the University of Greenwich. His research to date has examined Ottoman-British relations (17th-19th centuries), Ottoman maritime law and practice (18th century), and the history of late Ottoman Palestine. In 2018 he became a BBC and Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘New Generation Thinker’ making shows for BBC Radio 3, and was an on-screen expert and historical consultant for the 2020 hit Netflix docudrama series ‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman’.
Zeynep Çelik is distinguished professor emerita at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and adjunct professor of History at Columbia University. Her publications include Urban Forms and Colonial Confrontations (1997), Camera Ottomana (2014, co-editor), and Europe Knows Nothing about the Orient (forthcoming). She co-curated several exhibitions and has been the recipient of prestigious fellowships and awards, including the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2004), American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship (1992, 2004, and 2011), the Sarton Medal from Ghent University (2014), Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award (UCLA, 2019), and Tamayouz Award (2019).
Salim Tamari is IPS senior fellow and the former director of the IPS-affiliated Institute of Jerusalem Studies. He is editor of Jerusalem Quarterly and Hawliyyat al Quds. He is professor of sociology at Birzeit University and an adjunct professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He has authored several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Recent publications include: Year of the Locust: Palestine and Syria during WWI (UC Press, 2010) and Ihsan’s War: The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Soldier (IPS, Beirut, 2008).
Yazid Anani born 1975, Ramallah, is the Director of the Public Programme at the A. M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah. He was a professor at the Department of Architecture and the Master Program in Urban Planning and Landscape – Birzeit University, Palestine 2007 – 2016. He curated and co-curated several projects including: Outside the Archive, Subcontracted nations, Zalet Lisan, ‘The Facility’, ‘Weed Control’ and the 2nd- 6th editions of Cities Exhibition. Anani has lectured and published internationally on architecture, art and urban transformations, colonial spaces and power relations, public art and public spaces and art education.
Larissa Sansour was born in East Jerusalem, Palestine, and lives and works in London, UK. She uses science fiction to address social and political issues, particularly concerning memory and inherited trauma, power structures and nation states. Her works in film and multi-media installation explore the dialectics between myth and historical narrative. Sansour is recipient of the 2020 Jarman award and presented her work at film festivals and exhibitions internationally, including Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, Bildmuseet Umeå, and the Danish pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.
Michael Rakowitz is an Iraqi-American artist working at the intersection of problem-solving and troublemaking. In 2018, he was the recipient of the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts and the Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square. In 2020, he was the recipient of the Public Art Dialogue award and the Nasher Prize. Between 2019 and 2020, a survey of Rakowitz’s work traveled from Whitechapel Gallery in London, to Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Torino, to the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai. Rakowitz lives and works in Chicago, where he is a Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University.
Anthony Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). He is currently a Co-investigator on AHRC and GCRF–funded research projects that focus on cultural practices, education, and digital methodologies in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.
It researches the history and presence of publishing and its entanglement in the socio-political and cultural sphere in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Arab diaspora. It observes publishing as a possibility for creating, and accumulating knowledge and initiate projects in different formats such as installations, films, publications, lectures and performances aiming to extend the notion of publishing.
Recent projects include “Lip-Sing For Your Art!, A Bilingual Karaoke”, Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain OCCITANIE / Pyrénées-Méditerranée, Sète (2020); “Borrowed Faces. Issue No. 01”, MMAG Foundation, Amman (2020); “Borrowed Faces. Stories of Publishers during the Cold War”, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin (2019); “When the Library Was Stolen. On the Private Archive of Abd Al-Rahman Munif”, Kampnagel, Hamburg (2018); “Disappearances. Appearances. Publishing”, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2018); “When the Library Was Stolen”, book launch and public talk, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2018); “Soapy Post-modern Bathwater”, Sharjah Biennale 13, Tamawuj, Sharjah (2017); “Series of Disappearances”, Villa Romana, Florence (2017); “Waiting Trajectory”, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017).
Quinn Latimer is a California-born poet, critic and editor whose work often explores feminist economies of writing, reading and image production. Her books include?Like a Woman: Essays, Readings, Poems?(Sternberg Press, 2017);?Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance?(Mousse Publishing, 2013);?Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari?(WIELS/Motto Books, 2013); and?Rumored Animals?(Dream Horse Press, 2012). Her writings, readings and?collaborations have been featured and exhibited widely, including at REDCAT, Los Angeles; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; the Poetry Project, New York; the Venice Architecture Biennale; and Sharjah Biennial 13. She is a lecturer at Institut Kunst, in Basel, where, with Chus Martínez, she also organizes a biannual series of symposia on questions of gender, language, and artistic practice. Latimer was editor-in-chief of publications for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.
Noora Aljabi is an architectural designer currently working as a design team member at Studio Gang Architects in Chicago. She received her M.Arch from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she developed an interest in the question of architectural agency in charged social contexts. Her work has primarily focused on issues of migration, marginalisation, and spatial justice as they relate to the political dimensions of architecture.
Mo’min Swaitat is a London-based Palestinian Bedouin actor, filmmaker, music producer, DJ and archivist from Jenin. He trained at the Freedom Theatre, Jenin and arthaus (formerly LISPA), London and Berlin, before moving to London. He collaborated with the Arcola Theatre, Young Diorama Theatre, Rich Mix, Battersea Arts Centre, Albany Theatre Deptford, Theatre Temoin, Common Wealth Theatre, Mosaic Rooms, Alserkal Avenue, Radio Alhara? and many others, working on solo and ensemble productions, with a focus on immersive, site-specific theatre and performances which blend storytelling, spoken word, music and movement. His debut short film Stones in Hand – an experimental piece inspired by his family archive – premiered on Ma3azef earlier this year. Since 2018, he has been one of the associate artists and creative directors of Sarha Collective, a platform for underground artists from the SWANA region. He is the founder of Majazz, an archive of vintage Palestinian and Arab vinyl and cassettes and a record label based at East London’s Finch Café, where he runs a residency programme where he has recently hosted artists such as Kamaal Williams, El Far3i and Beirut Groove Collective. He is this year’s Jerwood Arts grantee for the Live Work Fund.
Artist, researcher and photographer Alaa Abu Asad (1989, Palestine) develops alternative trajectories in which (re)presentation, translation, looking, reading and understanding can intersect. His work takes form in writing, film and interactive installations, in which he visualises his research and methodology of exploring the boundaries of languages.
Ulufer Çelik?(1992, Antalya, Turkey) is an artist living and working between Antalya and Rotterdam. She completed her MA studies at the Dutch Art Institute in 2018. Her artistic practice explores the potentialities of narrative and myth-making, and is expressed through moving images, poetry, drawing, sound and performance. In her work, she constructs multi-layered planes through a non-linear perception of time. She searches for queer, immigrant, feminist ways of making and thinking with the archeological, spiritual and spatial traces of memory. Ulufer is a member of Eat-House Collective, W1555 Artist Community and a resident at Putsebocht 3 in Rotterdam.
Sarona Abuaker is a poet. She has been published in Berfrois, MAP Magazine, the 87press’ Digital Poetics series, KOHL, Ludd Gang, and Senna Hoy. Her debut poetry collection, Why so few women on the street at night, published by the 87Press, is a queer phenomenology of collective Palestinian futurisms and memory building.
Danah Abdulla is a Palestinian-Canadian designer, educator and researcher interested in new narratives and practices in design that push the disciplinary boundaries and definitions of the discipline. She is Programme Director of Graphic Design at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts (University of the Arts London). She has previously held positions at Brunel University London and London College of Communication (University of the Arts London). Danah obtained her Ph.D. in Design from Goldsmiths, University of London and is a founding member of the Decolonising Design platform. In 2010, she founded Kalimat Magazine, an independent, nonprofit publication about Arab thought and culture. Her research focuses on decolonising design, possibilities of design education, design culture(s), the politics of design, publishing, and social design. www.dabdulla.com
Martha Kazungu is a Ugandan curator and art historian currently living in Hamburg and working at MARKK Museum am Rothenbaum. She holds a Master of Arts in African Verbal and Visual Arts with a focus on curating and media in Africa from the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She has contributed to several publications including Obsidian Journal, C& Magazine, Art Africa magazine, and Start Art Journal, and the exhibition catalogues of MÉMORIA (Bordeaux, 2021) and Inya Lake (Oslo, 2019). Selected exhibitions include Seat At The Table (online, 2020), My Mother is Forgetting My Face (Bergen, 2020), Life Classes: an exhibition of Ugandan art on paper (Bayreuth, 2020), Embodiment of Reason (Kampala, 2019), and Here and Here (Addis Ababa, 2016). She was assistant curator for the Kampala Art Biennale curated by Elise Atangana in 2016, and Feedback: Art Africa and the 1980s curated by Smooth Ugochukwu at Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth in 2018. Kazungu’s current project Njabala works to create safe spaces for female artists to blossom.
Nayrouz Qarmout is a journalist, author and women’s rights campaigner. Born in Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Damascus, in 1984, as a Palestinian refugee, she was ‘returned’ to the Gaza Strip at the age of 11 as part of the 1994 Oslo Peace Accord, where she now lives. She used to work in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, raising awareness of gender issues and promoting the political and economic role of women in policy, law, and the media. She has won a number of prizes including the English Pen Award and the Creative Women’s Award for her debut collection The Sea Cloak.
The stories in Nayrouz’s collection provide a local perspective on a global story. Drawing on her own life in Gaza, Qarmout weaves the personal with the political to create a compelling portrait of what it means to be a woman in Palestine today. Whether following orphaned children through shattered housing blocks and rubble, or mapping the tensions between different generations of Gazan refugees, The Sea Cloak offers rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East.
A collection of 14 stories drawn from personal experiences of growing up in a Syrian refugee camp.
Ali Smith says about The Sea Cloak: ‘All the arts are close to us because they allow us to recontextualise, to understand where we are, what we are, who we are. The Sea Cloak re-contextualises things so we really understand the world from the point of view we always knew was there.’
Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland. She is the author of Who Is Mary Sue? (Faber, 2018) and small white monkeys (Book Works, 2017), and the editor of Currently & Emotion (Test Centre, 2016), an anthology of contemporary poetry translations; a sequel, Intimacy, is forthcoming via Prototype. She is the translator, from the Dutch, of Lieke Marsman’s poetry collection The Following Scan Will Last Five Minutes (Pavilion, 2019) and novel The Opposite of a Person (Daunt, 2022). She is a lecturer at the University of Glasgow
Heba Y. Amin, (b. 1980, Cairo) is a multi-media artist and Professor of Art at the Stuttgart State Academy for Art and Design. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal, and currently sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Digital War.
Hana Noorali & Lynton Talbot work collaboratively with artists to produce text, exhibitions and live events. Together they have started non-profit galleries in both London and Berlin and have curated exhibitions in public institutions, project spaces and galleries across London and internationally. In 2019 they were selected to realise an exhibition, The Season of Cartesian Weeping, at the Roberts Institute of Art as part of their annual curator’s series. In 2020 Hana Noorali, along with Tai Shani and curator Anne Duffau, started TRANSMISSIONS, an online platform that shares artists’ work in a classic DIY tv format. TRANSMISSIONS has worked with Legacy Russell, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, CAConrad and others. In 2019 Lynton Talbot started parrhesiades, a multi-platform project working with artists for whom language is an essential part of their work. parrhesiades has worked with Sung Tieu, Johanna Hedva, Cally Spooner, Anai?s Duplan and others. In 2021 they co-edited Intertitles: An Anthology at the Intersection of Language and Visual Art which was published by prototype press. In 2022 they will realise projects at the Amant Foundation, New York as part of Quinn Latimer’s curated exhibition as well as an exhibition at Galerija Prozori, Zagreb.
DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Research) is an architectural collective that combines conceptual speculations and pragmatic spatial interventions, discourse and collective learning. The artistic research of Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti is situated between politics, architecture, art and pedagogy. In their practice art exhibitions are both sites of display and sites of action that spill over into other contexts: built architectural structures, the shaping of critical learning environments, interventions that challenge dominant collective narratives, the production of new political imaginations, the formation of civic spaces and the re-definition of concepts.
In the last decade, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti have developed a research and project-based artistic practice that is both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. They founded Campus in Camps, an experimental educational programme hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem with the aims to overcome conventional educational structures by creating a space for critical and grounded knowledge production connected to greater transformations and the democratisation of society. Campus in Camps has today offshoots in other Palestinian camps and is linked in a consortium with universities around the world. In 2007 with Eyal Weizman they founded DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour, Palestine, with the aim to combine an architectural studio and an art residency able to gathered together architects, artists, activists, urbanists, film-makers, and curators to work collectively on the subjects of politics and architecture.
Their latest publication Permanent Temporariness (Art and Theory, Stockholm 2019) is a book, a catalogue, and an archive that accounts for 15 years of research and experimentation, and creation that are marked by an inner tension and a visionary drive that re-thinks itself through collective engagement. Permanent Temporariness was published in connection with their eponymous retrospective exhibition that was inaugurated at the New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery in 2018, and at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2019.
Hilal was the head of the Infrastructure and Camp Improvement Program in the West Bank at UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) from 2008 to 2014. Alessandro Petti has written on the emerging spatial order dictated by the paradigm of security and control in Archipelagos and enclaves (Bruno Mondadori, Milan 2007) and more recently Petti and Hilal co-authored with Eyal Weizman the book Architecture after Revolution (Sternberg, Berlin 2014) an invitation to rethink today’s struggles for justice and equality not only from the historical perspective of revolution, but also from that of a continued struggle for decolonisation.
The participation in various international exhibitions, among them the Biennale di Venezia (2003-2008-2009-2013-2015), Istanbul Biennial (2009), Home Works Beirut (2010), Bienal de São Paulo (2014), the Asian Art Biennial (2015), Marrakesh Biennial (2016), and Qalandia International (2016) aimed to investigate and act upon the formation of different social, political and spatial relation between people, state and territory beyond the liberal notion of citizenship. The practical implications of these conceptual and artistic interventions have been tested more concretely with architectural interventions in refugee camps. In 2014 the Shu’fat School for Girls was inaugurated for 1,000 students, teachers, and local organisations as an expression of dignity and strength of the refugee community living in overcrowded refugee camps. Further, in 2015 these practices led to the construction of a “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.
Their artist practice has received the following awards: Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College, Loeb Fellowship Harvard University, Price Claus Prize for Architecture, shortlisted for Visible Award, the Curry Stone Design Prize, the New School’s Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, the Anni and Heinrich Sussmann Artist Award, the Iakov Chernikovs Prize and recipient of the Foundation for Art initiatives grant.
Alessandro is a professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Sandi initiated the living room project, a series of spaces of hospitality that have the potential to subvert the role of guest and host. She is Visiting Professor at Lund University.
Mohanad Yaqubi is an artist, film producer, and co-founder of the Ramallah-based Production house Idioms Film, and the research and curators collective Subversive Films, which focuses on militant film practices. Films produced by Yaqubi include Habibi (2010), Infiltrators (2013), Suspended Time (2014), Ouroboros (2017), and his most recent film Off Frame Aka Revolution Until Victory (2016), dealing with the history and development of militant cinema in the Middle East.
His films had been nominated at different film festivals and in 2013 he won the Muhr Arab Special Jury Prize for his film Infiltrators and in 2017 the Ulysse Award for Best Documentary for Off Frame, Yaqubi is researcher and teacher at KASK, School of Arts of University College Ghent.
Researcher, curator, editor, and artist Reem Shilleh’s practice is informed by a long research project on militant and revolutionary image practices in Palestine, its diaspora, and solidarity network. Some of her recent projects are the curated film program The Space Between: The Invocation, MMAG Foundation, Amman, 2019; the research exhibition series Desires into Fossils: Monuments Without a State, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah, 2017; and the curated film collage, commissioned by A. M. Qattan Foundation Perpetual Recurrences, Qalandiya International, Ramallah, 2016. She is also Co-Founder of Subversive Film, a curatorial and research collective formed in 2011 that casts new light upon historic works related to Palestine and the region; engenders support for film preservation; and investigates archival practices and effects. Shilleh lives and works in Brussels and Ramallah.
Rasheed Araeen (b. 1935) is a London-based artist, activist, writer, editor and curator. In 1964, he moved to the United Kingdom from Pakistan, where he had initially trained as a civil engineer. Araeen is recognized as the father of minimalist sculpture in 1960s Britain. His work in performance, photography, painting, and sculpture throughout the 1970s to 1990s challenged Eurocentricsm within the British art establishment and championed the role of minority artists, especially those of Asia, African and Caribbean decent. In addition to his artistic practice, he took on activist roles with organisations such as the Black Panthers and Artists for Democracy, and founded the critical journals Black Phoenix, Third Text and Third Text Asia. Araeen organised the seminal 1989 exhibition, The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-War Britain, which was held at Southbank Centre, London. Author of numerous essays and journals, he has written Art Beyond Art: Ecoaesthetics—A Manifesto for the 21st Century (Third Text Publications, London, 2010) and the autobiographical Making Myself Visible (Kala Press, London, 1984).
Araeen has exhibited internationally, with significant solo exhibitions, including Rasheed Araeen: Before and After Minimalism, Sharjah Art Foundation Art Spaces, Sharjah, UAE (2014); Zero to Infinity, Museo de Arte, Lima, Peru (2013); Minimalism and Beyond: Rasheed Araeen at Tate Britain, Tate Britain, London, UK (2007); To Whom It May Concern, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (1996); Rasheed Araeen, South London Gallery, London, UK (1994);Strife and/or Structure, Modern Art Gallery, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (1993); From Modernism to Postmodernism: Rasheed Araeen A Retrospective, ?Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (1987).
His work has been shown in notable group exhibitions, including The Tanks: Art in Action, Tate Modern, London (2012–13); Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2012); Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2012);Migrations at Tate Britain, London, UK (2012); The Mediterranean Project, Thessaloniki Biennale, Thessaloniki, Greece (2011); Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (1994), Live in Your Head, Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal (2001); every day Sydney Biennale, Australia (1998); 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, Johannesburg (1997); The Other Story: Afro-Asian Artists in Post-War Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (1990, then travelled to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, UK, and Manchester City Art Gallery and Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK); Magiciens de la terre, Centre Georges Pompidou/La Villette, Paris (1989); and Art of Society at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1978).
Araeen’s work is included in the public collections of the Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Tate, London, UK; Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK; Arts Council of England; Canal+, Paris, France; Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan; Wifredo Lam Center, Havana, Cuba; Imperial War Museum, London, UK; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; Pompidou Centre, Paris, France; Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (NY), USA; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India; Gwangju Biennale Foundation, Gwangju, South Korea; and Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Araeen is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Southampton University, East London University and Wolverhampton University.
Hammad Nasar is a curator, writer and strategic advisor. He is presently co-curator (with Irene Aristizábal) of British Art Show 9, and Lead Curator at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum during Coventry’s City Culture programme. He is also Principal Research Fellow at UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute where he is developing the Curating Nation project, and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, where he co-leads (with Sarah Victoria Turner) the London, Asia project. Earlier, he was the inaugural Executive Director of the Stuart Hall Foundation, London; Head of Research & Programmes at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; and, co-founded (with Anita Dawood) the arts organisation Green Cardamom, London.
Nida Ghouse is a writer and curator. She recently realised a multi-part exhibition project on an archaeology of sound called A Slightly Curving Place (2020) at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, which included a public programme called Coming to Know, and has led to an upcoming publication series called An Archaeology of Listening, published with Archive Books. An essay called The Whistle in the Voice appeared in relation to Natascha Süder Happelmann’s presentation for the German Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (Archive Books 2019), and was followed by annotations in Beyond Repair (Archive Books 2020). Her ongoing writing project Lotus Notes has appeared variously in Mada Masr (Cairo 2014), After Year Zero (University of Chicago Press 2015), ARTMargins (MIT Press 2016), and Critical Writing Ensembles (Mousse Publishing 2016). She began her practice with the curatorial programme at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, was the first recipient of the FICA-Delfina Research Fellowship in partnership with Goldsmith’s Curatorial/Knowledge PhD programme in London, and has served as director of Mumbai Art Room, an experimental exhibition space. Previously, she co-curated Parapolitics: Cultural Freedom and the Cold War (2017), also at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and co-edited its eponymous publication (Sternberg Press, 2021). It includes her essay Charged Objects of Former Reverence.
Esmaeil Haddadian-Moghaddam is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions research fellow at Universiteit Leiden. He has recently co-edited a special issue (Translation and Interpreting Studies) on translation and the Cultural Cold War where he also explores the story of William Faulkner’s introduction into the Middle East through the work of Franklin Book programs. He is the author of Literary Translation in Modern Iran: A Sociological Study (2014) and one of the founders and managing editors of the Journal of World Literature . His current project examines the dynamics, legacy and impact of the cultural Cold War in the Middle East through the Franklin operations.