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Reading Tawfiq Canaan: Against Statelessness as Method, Towards a Statelessness as Technology




RSVP below for this in person event running over the course of three days. Tickets are limited, please only book if you are sure to come.

Take part in this workshop, led by researchers Khaled Malas and Nadine Fattaleh, that examines the possible meanings of an assemblage of ‘talismanic objects’ collected in the first decade of the twentieth century by Dr. Tawfiq Canaan (1882-1964) and currently housed in a British museum. Dr. Canaan was a Palestinian physician, scholar, and collector today most fondly remembered for his groundbreaking ethnographic work on Palestinian folklore and ‘superstition’. Over the course of three days, participants will engage with the scholarship and collections of Dr. Canaan through group readings, conversations, and a trip to the museum storage.

Technologies materialise knowledge. Traces of this knowledge – whether artefacts, gestures, or processes – preserve efficacies otherwise ignored or concealed. The workshop aims to explore alternative imaginaries materialised within and from these fragments of stateless heritage, considering ways to restore to objects their radical potential not only by reframing histories of technologies but also by rethinking their deployment within ongoing struggles.


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. Khaled is also the principal of art/design collective Sigil. More about Khaled Malas


Image 1: Apotropaic necklace of 49 glass beads; unknown artist; collected by Tawfiq Canaan in al-Khalil, Palestine (Wellcome Museum, London).
Image 2: Dr. Canaan in Russian Hospital, 1917; Negative: glass, dry plate; 4 x 5 inches; American Colony Photographer, (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C: LC-M32- 50180-x [P&P])
Image 3: Portrait of Khaled Malas. Courtesy of the artist.
Image 4: Portrait of Nadine Fattaleh. Courtesy of the artist.


13 available Workshop | Towards Statelessness as Technology

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