Spaces of Participation: Topographies of Political and Social Change in Morocco, Egypt and Palestine
Cultural Heterotopias and the Making of the Political
Ass. Prof. Yazid Anani
Dr. Hanan Toukan
The Palestinian research team will study two civil society organisations: Birzeit University Museum and RIWAQ – Center for Architectural Conservation. Both work in the field of culture and its relationship to space and utilize contemporary art forms to understand what has been self-censored and at the same time marginalised from the Palestinian metanarrative in order to counter the political projects of both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupiers.
- RIWAQ is an architecture rehabilitation initiative which took on the work of the National Register of Historic Buildings. The 13-year-old project resulted in the publication of three impressive volumes that include detailed information, maps and photos of some 420 villages in 16 districts of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. RIWAQ employs different spaces in the towns where it becomes active, such as old houses and public squares. Its starting point is the question: what does it take to rehabilitate a whole town, not only physically but socially, culturally and economically?
- Birzeit University Museum is a pioneering art space, which promotes visual cultural practices within the Palestinian community through various exhibitions, training and education programs. The museum's exhibitions program, and in particular its "Cities Exhibition" series, provide the university community and the Palestinian community at large with opportunities to develop non-traditional concepts and perceptions about art practices and cultural production. The exhibitions introduce themes and ideas that deal with the local context through a variety of forms as they empower the local communities with knowledge generated within art practices about the geography and politics of spatial issues.