DAAR – Stateless Heritage
Stateless Heritage sets out to challenge mainstream narratives of refugee experience, of humanitarian crises, victim-hood and suffering. In this exhibition, artist and architectural collective DAAR proposes exile as a radical perspective which can take us beyond the limitations of the nation state. Stateless Heritage also interrogates Western definitions of heritage.
The works in the exhibition focus on Dheisheh refugee camp in Palestine. The camp traces its history back to 1949, at the time of the start of the Nakba, when Palestinians were displaced by the founding of the state of Israel. A large light box installation will show photographs of the camp by Luca Capuano. Capuano had previously photographed Italy’s world heritage sites for UNESCO. In 2016 DAAR commissioned him to take the same care to document Dheisheh, as a living monument of ‘permanent temporariness’. A series of photo-books show the 44 villages the refugees of Dheishah originally came from.
DAAR will present their proposal to recognise the camp as a UNESCO world heritage site, in a call for official international recognition of the cultural heritage of the refugee. A space alongside will host events by activists, artists and thinkers.
These works are part of a wider movement to use heritage to resist colonialism and occupation which continues in Palestine, and to expose colonial and imperial legacies more widely. Stateless Heritage will raise issues of migrant justice at a time when the right to claim asylum is under threat in the UK and internationally.
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 are 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. Read more about DAAR.
Image: DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessanro Petti, Permanent Temporariness, New York Abu Dhabi Gallery 2018. Photo: Luca Capuano.