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




Book your ticket below for this in person event running over the course of three days, from 11am to 5pm each day. Tea, coffee and biscuits are included in the ticket price. If you are unable to afford the ticket price, email contact@mosaicrooms.org for a free ticket. Travel costs for visits to collections may apply. Further details will be provided to participants. 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 British Museum and to Wellcome Collection. In addition, Ruth Horry, Collections Curator in the exhibitions team at Wellcome Collection, London will present An introduction to Henry Wellcome’s Historical Medical Museum, and Tawfiq Canaan’s collecting for the Museum. 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 designed to heal the physical and social body, 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. Participants will be given a pre-circulated dossier of readings to be discussed during the workshop. 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.


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