Despite & Because.
On Politics and Poetics of Collaboration
Across the Mediterraneans
Inscribed in the curatorial framework of the Neither on Land nor at Sea biennium at UNIDEE, this programme of online talks seeks to enquire into ways of organising and commoning in the arts, bringing to the forefront some of the experiences currently inhabiting and activating the Mediterranean spaces.
Despite & Because invites curators, practitioners and facilitators from art organisations and projects that operate or have originated in the broader Mediterranean region to get together, so to discuss ways of practising, researching, caring, and struggling together, within and through (para-)institutional and collective settings.
The programme aims to unsettle the understanding of the Mediterranean as a graspable locality, exploring shared or recurring conditions as well as stark contradictions. In doing so, it also brings to the public conversations on systems, infrastructures and means, which are oftentimes held in private.
The online public programme runs parallel to the UNIDEE residency modules, starting in May 2023, allowing for an additional form of engagement and participation in the themes and methodologies explored in this season of the UNIDEE programming, open to all.
I .SCHOOL OF INTRUSIONS
with Noor Abed
and Lara Khaldi
14th May, 11h CET
School of Intrusions is a collective of sorts practicing informal ways of gathering in and around specific urban and rural sites. The members of the group change and fluctuate.
It grew out of a conversation about education, art schools, collectivity, and the city as a common space in Palestine. Together the group developed a set of tools to navigate the city as a site of knowledge and how this knowledge is produced.
Noor Abed works at the intersection of performance, media and film. Her works create situations where social possibilities are both rehearsed and performed. Abed is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam 2022-24 and was recently awarded the Han Nefkens Foundation/Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022.
Lara Khaldi is a curator and artist. She was a member of the artistic team of documenta fifteen. Khaldi worked as head of the Media Studies Programme at Alquds Bard College 2018-2020 and has taught at Sandberg Institute 2020-22. She was recently appointed director at de Appel Art Centre, Amsterdam.
II .MAHAL ART SPACE
with Nouha Ben Yebdri
and Sarri Elfaitouri
20th June, 18h CEST
Space is an independent and alternative space, a 35 m2 white cube in Tangier,
dedicated to the promotion of contemporary practices, especially in the visual
arts, through a transdisciplinary approach.
Mahal Art Space's mission focuses on the invention of new (local) artistic
‘protocols', to the reflection on art spaces and their environment, and to the
different constraints related to the artist's practice and audiences. The
project is mainly aimed at artists and other practitioners who are at the
beginning of their careers, as well as at the general public. Towards this
direction, Mahal Art Space is committed to creating an ecology of practices
that connects in particular the young/emerging art scene in Morocco, with
different audiences and communities in the city of Tangier and beyond, as well
as with established artists and agents in the field.
Tajarrod is a
pedagogical design led research practice aiming to challenge the dominant
socio-cultural and disciplinary ideologies in Libyan and beyond. Tajarrod's
projects vary between the production of theoretical writings and
investigations, exhibitions, workshops, as well as the organization of public
dialogues and competitions.
Yebdri is an independent curator, founder and director of MAHAL, a non-profit
organisation whose mission is to respond to and accompany the needs of the
emerging contemporary art scene in Morocco, from its headquarters in Tangier.
Her curatorial practice focuses on the reflection and conception of projects
around issues related to the development of art spaces, institutionalization
procedures, mediation/outreach protocols, and the impact that these spaces have
on their environment; as well as the study of contextual factors that influence
the conception of the terms and dynamics that unfold through these processes
and places. These efforts are conveyed and put into practice through the
programming of the independent space Mahal (or also known as Mahal Art Space)
and Silent Pedagogies - بيداغوجيات صامتة, a program that questions the
curricula of artistic training in Morocco and analyzes the relationship of art
spaces with the different audiences it hosts and works with.
Some of the projects she has curated through these two programs include: the
Méta Skholé Libre workshops (with Jean-Paul Thibeau); the group exhibitions
Iconographies de la rue (with Think Tanger), Tangier: Facets of a Mediterranean
Intersection (with Robin Vermeulen), and What Dies Last, an online and
in-person show; Maared/ Aarada - معرض/عراضة, an exhibition and public program
(with Mouhawalat collective); undercurrents, an independent training and
learning platform, together with LE18, Derb El Ferran and Fondation Dar
Bellarj, both based in Marrakech.
Elfairouri is an interdisciplinary architect, artist, curator, cultural
manager, and writer based in Benghazi, Libya, and the founder and director of
Tajarrod, a pedagogical design led research practice. Through historical
archeologies and socio-spatial interventions his work is dedicated to developing
radical spaces of critical learning and acting within his context “Libya” and
with Francesca Masoero, Shayma Nader, Sahar Qawasmi
1st August, 18h CEST
QANAT is a collective platform that explores the politics and poetics of water to reflect and act (up)on the multiple contextual understandings and forms of (re)production of the commons in Morocco, Palestine and beyond. Drawing from various forms of knowledge and acts of resistance and solidarity to dominant environmental narratives and injustices, QANAT aims to create spaces through which we can speculate upon new collective imaginaries to design new spatial and epistemological configurations for our cities. The collective develops archives of resonant reflections and actions that knit together local struggles into transnational patterns for nourishing debates across dispersed localities. QANAT was initiated at LE 18, Marrakech.
Sakiya is a progressive academy for experimental knowledge production and sharing, grafting local agrarian traditions of self-sufficiency with contemporary art and ecological practices. This circular system of knowledge production and sharing integrates agriculture within the framework of an interdisciplinary residency program, where cultural actors, such as farmers and crafts/small industry initiatives, assume a prominent role alongside visiting and local artists and scholars. Sakiya’s core programs engage food production, exhibitions, symposia, publications, and education/training workshops, exploring the intersections between art, science, and agriculture in a sustainable and replicable model.
Francesca Masoero works as a curator, cultural organiser and researcher. She is part of LE 18, a cultural space in Marrakech (Morocco), where she initiated QANAT. With a background in critical theory and political economy, she explores notions resistances in multiple forms, including testing collective-making processes within and beyond the art field, and researching the politics and poetics linked to watery worlds and to forms of being together otherwise. Since 2019, she has also been collaborating extensively with the Dar Bellarj Foundation (Marrakech - Morocco).
Shayma Nader is an artist, curator and translator from Palestine. For the past few years, she's been developing and organising workshops and projects focussed on forging and reactivating memories of and in the land through collective walking, listening and fictioning to move towards decolonial and land-centred imaginaries and practices. She is a member of Qanat; a collective platform exploring the politics and poetics of water, and a PhD candidate in artistic research at ARIA at Sint Lucas School of Arts and University of Antwerp.
Sahar Qawasmi worked as an architect, restorer, planner, and cultural heritage expert with Riwaq, Center for Engineering and Planning, and other local and private institutions. In 2012, Sahar coordinated the first edition of Qalandiya International, and co-wrote the first of Riwaq’s Re-Walk Heritage Guidebook Series. In 2016, she co-curated the Ramallah Municipality’s exhibition for Qalandiya International III. She was an architecture fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany in 2014-2015. Sahar received her BA in Architecture from Birzeit University and her Master in Architecture from Miami University.
IV .BAR Project
with Andrea Rodríguez Novoa, Veronica Valentini, Anna Santomauro, Viviana Checchia