For the last few months, during my traineeship at Annelys de Vet studio, in Brussels, I assisted the director and co-founder of the project Disarming Design From Palestine as well as supporting their team in Ramallah, Ghadeer Dajani and Raed Shams.
Disarming Design From Palestine aims to spread alternative narratives about contemporary Palestine and reflect upon the function of creative practices in situations of conflict. The design label presents and sells useful goods from Palestine, designed by contemporary designers and artists in collaboration with local producers and artisans.
The project focuses on the development of local design and production capacity through creative processes. By stimulating interdisciplinary working relationships new artistic models are empowered. Art and design are deployed as powerful tools that allow serious discussions within a community about the political, social and cultural realities. It approaches design as a platform for discourse. How can creative practices contribute to a more sustainable society and human-centered economy? ---->> http://www.disarmingdesign.com/
For Disarming Design I designed and build a mobile furniture to display their products at Art Centre WIELS, Brussels.As one of the leading institutions for contemporary art in Europe, without a permanent collection, WIELS presents temporary exhibitions by national and international artists, both emerging and more established. WIELS is a site of creation and dialogue, in which art and architecture form the bases for a discussion about current events and issues, not only through the exhibition programme, but also through a host of complementary activities.See for opening hours: www.wiels.org
"Ahlan wa Sahlan
‘My house is your House‘
Exhibition at Design Museum Gent (B)16 February – 15 April 2018
"On the occasion of the festival Under Construction, Flemish-Palestinian connections, Disarming Design from Palestine has been invited to create an exhibition at the Design museum Gent. The presentation consists out of four style rooms in Hotel de Coninck with products from the Disarming Design collection. The museum becomes a private house again, with a dining, leisure, television and dressing room; as if a Palestinian family has moved in and welcomes the visitor in ‘their’ home. The house is filled with conversation fragments that took place in Gaza and Ramallah, and the objects narrate about daily realities in Jerusalem, Gaza, the Westbank and refugee camps. All products relate to the domestic environment and contribute to the story of what it means to be Palestinian or to live in Palestine. Pertinent questions for many Palestinians are touched upon. What is ‘home’? When and where are we at home? How can it be reached? When can we go home? Through these questions the objects — often in a poetic and unusual way — enable us to look at politics from another angle." explains Annelys de Vet.
For this exhibition I developed a sound piece that consists in a dinner conversation build upon on the definition of home for Palestinians. The dinner took place in Ramallah and the sound is installed in the dinning room of the exhibition:
“I said, what is a homeland? I was asking myself that question a moment ago. Naturally. What is a homeland? Is it these two chairs that remained in this room for twenty years? The table? Peacock feathers? The picture of Jerusalem on the wall? The copper lock? The oak tree? The balcony? What is a homeland? Khaldun? Our illusions of him? Fathers? Their sons? What is a homeland? Is it the picture of his brother hanging on the wall? I’m only asking.” Ghassan Kanafani, Return to Haifa.
Different generations originally from different regions in Palestine are brought together around the table to discuss what for them means the word “home". The table is full of colour and flavours and non replaced appetisers are spread around. Tabouleh, stuffed eggplant, hummus and bread cover the empty spaces between the plates. The Maqloubeh is finally ready and brought to the table, Mohammed tells us that his kids often play drums with the cooking pan and help the rice to sink in the plate before the Maqloubeh is flipped. Everyone waits impatiently to see the result and start the feast. Yalla, let's eat.
The discussion brings different memories, concerns and points of view describing different journeys with one thing in common. That the concept of home should float beyond those standard four walls and drift off from the Hakoura to the society that we live in.
Recording & editing: Ines Marques
Voices: Raed Hamouri; Ghadeer Dajani; Mohammed Saleh; Qusai Al Saify; Mohammed Ishtay; Ahmad Nasser; Hady Matar; May Marie
During my stay in Palestine I developed new production videos for different Disarming Design products, being produced in the Westbank. Following closely Ghadeer Dajani, the Production Manager of Disarming Design, I visited different artisans and recorded the production process. These videos are also being shown at "My House is your House" exhibition at Design Museum Gent.
At Disarming Design From Palestine I assisted in exhibitions, events, pop-up shops and presentations at various institutions in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Palestine, including Nieuwe Kerk The Hague, Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam, MUDAM Luxembourg, WIELS Brussels, The Palestinian Museum Birzeit, Minard Theatre Gent and Design Museum Gent.