Qalandiya International (QI)
Qalandiya International (QI) was founded in 2012 as a collaborative contemporary art event that takes place every two years in Palestinian cities and villages. QI is the culmination of the vision and work of a number of prominent cultural and artistic institutions all over Palestine and abroad; all are focusing on contemporary art and its relation to the Palestinian cultural landscape. This year the event, in its third edition, is very unique, as it is the first time the Qalandiya International has expanded onto a global level to include collaborative art and spatial projects from different countries and cities around the world. From Gaza, Haifa, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and crossing over Palestine to reach Beirut, Amman and London, the aim is to create cultural links that challenge the enforced boundaries and unify the fragmented geography. By combining our energy and resources, QI will present substantial international collaboration through dozens of activities and programs, including a series of art and architecture exhibitions, as well as performances, film screenings, workshops and tours, all of which will open up channels for dialogue and exchange, both locally and internationally, and are conceived and produced as a single collective endeavor. More details can be found at: http:// www.qalandiyainternational.org This year’s theme for Qalandiya International is entitled ‘This Sea is Mine’. While crossing borders, we will contemplate the prospect of return and refuge beyond Palestine to include those who are displaced in and around the Mediterranean Sea. The sea will be a medium to navigate through. It presents a layer that can possibly bring to the surface the absent narratives of the contemporary diaspora, and the lives of the ordinary people for whom this discussion truly belongs. With this in mind, a series of platforms will be created to incite debates at multiple levels and viewed through different lenses across the globe. With the idea of the ‘Sea’ becoming the medium of exploration and a possible new geography to heal and connect, QI London with over 25 contributors, artists, architects, spatial designers and filmmakers, will unpack the subject and its themes through works that are exhibited across 3 venues.
Design Studio 22 (DS 22)
DS22 is a MArch architectural design studio run by Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif at the University of Westminster in London, and which strives to create a closer link between practice, research and academic activities. As a result, it often works in close collaboration with different partners and groups involved in research by design, such as the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART), with the aim of offering a critical form of architectural practice that can engage with social and spatial realities. To construct their architectural and spatial narratives, the work of DS22 students uses testing, making, drawing and digital fabrication as the key means of exploration. DS22 seeks to blur the boundaries between art, architecture and spatial design, and to do so relies upon humour, exaggeration and subversion as ways to question the current complex geography of the Middle East and to offer alternatives that might heal and empower. The project work from DS22 students that is presented in this booklet focuses on imagining possibilities for Gaza as the ‘Absurd-City’. By using the concepts of ‘Air, Land and Sea’, a series of imaginary scenarios are suggested that can help us to connect with the trapped cities of the Gaza Strip, as well as to allow for new spatial possibilities to emerge. The student projects, which range from line drawings to physical devices, have been very much inspired by the choreography of daily life there, either to exaggerate the ‘Absurd’ reality that exists at present, or to offer now possibilities for a ‘Subver-City’ that might be created in future. As such, all those involved in DS22 continue with their explorations across vanishing landscapes where time and mobility have become irrelevant. For this coming academic year, DS22 will be working explicitly on the Qalandiya International III theme of This Sea is Mine.