This first circle was brought together by artist and researcher Isshaq Albarbary. Central to the meetings of this circle is the question: how can we make time and space for conversation and listen to each other with attention? Together with Salim Bayri, Alina Jabbari, Ehsan Fardjadniya, Ola Hassanain, Hilda Moucharrafieh, Selma el Boundati, Winston Nanlohy, Albarbary explores how time can be made collective to arrive at new concepts. During the conversation, notions of knowledge and marginalisation, newcomer and resident, centre and periphery, theory and practice are challenged. Through lively tanaqush (تَناقش, Arabic for "discussion"), we can form a vibrant environment of mujaawarah (مُجاورة, Arabic for "neighbourhood") that flourishes in non-hegemonic political and social contexts.
About Isshaq Albarbary
Isshaq Albarbary (Bethlehem / Amsterdam) is een kunstenaar en onderzoeker die zich richt op de interacties tussen vluchtelingen en hun leefomgeving. In zijn praktijk, die is gevormd door zijn leven waarin hij opgroeide in een vluchtelingenkamp in Palestina, initieert Albarbary ‘mujaawarah’ (bijeenkomsten of nabuurschap in het Arabisch) en tanaqush (discussie) als methoden voor collectief leren en praktijken van "making time" en niet-dominante, speculatieve tijdsvorming. Hij heeft een Master in Fine Art and Design en was een 2017/2018 fellow bij BAK (Basis voor Actuele Kunst) op het fellowship programma Propositions for Non-Fascist Living. Eerder was hij deelnemer en later coördinator van Campus in Camps, een educatief programma dat collectieve kritische leeromgevingen activeert in Palestijnse vluchtelingenkampen. Het werk van Al-Barbary werd getoond in groepstentoonstellingen en biënnales zoals Bienal de Sao Paulo, Van Abbemuseum, Documenta 13 en Chicago Architecture Biennial.
About the participants
Salim Bayri (Casablanca, 1992) went to the Rijksakademie (NL), holds a BA in Arts and Design from the Escola Massana (CAT) and a MA in Media, Art, Design and Technology from the Frank Mohr Institute (NL). His work is an extension of his mother tongue: the Moroccan Darija. A widely spoken language yet with no official rules or dictionary that easily changes and absorbs words from it's proximity.
Alina Jabbari (Netherlands, 1992) is an interdisciplinary scholar, holding an LLB, an MA in Global Criminology and an MA in Theology and Religious Studies. Her research questions the role of collective trauma and collective memory at the intersection of Kurdish national and religious identity formation and seeks to give insight into the narratives that shape the way individuals navigate both identities.
Ehsan Fardjadniya mainly works with a community of asylum seekers either in or outside of the asylum application process. He does that through documentary films and performances. Currently, he is invested in a performance documentary similar to his previous ‘Refugee on Trial’ in collaboration with refugees and lawyers.
Ola Hassanain leads a critical spatial practice as a visual artist and trained architect. In her work, she focuses on the subtle politics of space—namely, how built spaces react to and reinforce violence from state entities. She situates the built environment as something that regulates the lives of those who inhabit it. Ola premises her work on an idea of "space as political discourse". An expanded notion of space that tries to develop vocabularies that make it possible to aspire to new kinds of political ecologies.
Hilda Moucharrafieh holds a BA in Graphic Design from Lebanon, and an MFA in Scenography from the University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU), The Netherlands, where she has been a tutor at the Master Scenography programme since 2017. She is an artist, tutor and cultural practitioner. Through her artistic research practice, she investigates our contemporary social condition through the lens of political history, particularly focusing on economic and political influences in shaping public spaces.
Selma el Boundati is a cultural practitioner. She holds an MS in cultural anthropology from the University of Utrecht, where she wrote a thesis on climate justice advocacy.
Winston Nanlohy (1986, Breda, the Netherlands) is a visual artist and filmmaker. He holds a BA in Audiovisual Art from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2013) and an MA in Fine Art and Design from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, the Netherlands (2020). His work explores possible ways to inhabit “public” spaces—both physical and digital—as a way to form and sustain meaningful relationships.
About It's OK...
This circle is part of the multi-year collective art project It's OK... commoning uncertainties around sharing uncertainties and narrating different realities. It's OK... is curated at the initiative of Jeanne van Heeswijk by more than a hundred makers, thinkers, activists, artists, local residents.