Date of residence: August - September 2020
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Riwaq is a center for architectural conservation in Palestine. The central objective of this space is to protect, use and promote cultural and architectural heritage through rehabilitation and revitalization projects. Riwaq's projects are not only about the restoration of historical structures, but also about the importance of cultural heritage as a pillar for identity and collective memory. At the same time, it also promotes that the spaces that are restored are an adequate and safe space for life and work, as well as a meeting point for the dissemination of knowledge.
In this residence, Aya Tahhan and Dana Abbas will be accompanying us, representing the Riwaq team.
Dana Abbas is a Palestine-based architect and researcher currently working at the Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation. In 2016, Dana completed her Masters in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University, London, and
received the UK government international scholarship & quot; Chevening & quot; in 2015. His practice and research address urban identity issues in Palestine in general and Jerusalem in specific. Dana is Principal Architect at The Life Jacket
Project, led by Riwaq, with the aim of rehabilitating and reviving the rural areas of Jerusalem.
Aya received her architecture degree from Birzeit University in 2011, and worked in a design office for over a year before joining RIWAQ in 2012. Since then, she has worked on various design projects, as well as surveying and drawing. of maps of historical fabrics in different parts of the West Bank. He is interested in green and environmental architecture and the design of public spaces.
The title of the project is: The town as a production unit in which two main elements will combine; a series of physical interventions in the historic centers of these towns (planning, restoration works, creation of public spaces, infrastructure, landscaping ...), and other soft components that include a cultural program within these centers and a research project. Riwaq had articulated his research component around the theme of mutualism and parasitism, in an attempt to dismantle the binary center-periphery system to understand the relationship between Jerusalem and its surroundings. Through this approach, we will analyze the flows of materials, products, labor, knowledge, imaginaries and practices, and try to redraw a map of "exchanges and reciprocities".
In light of what has just been said, and during the residency, we will explore one of the Life Jacket villages, Al Jib, and re-imagine it as a holistic production unit. We will examine the relationships of mutual dependency and exchange flows between Al Jib and other communities (including Jerusalem, nearby villages, and Israeli settlements built on their land), through production processes: production of labor, material and knowledge. While the concept of exchange can easily be placed within a socio-economic domain, we are also interested in investigating these relationships within the processes of cultural production in the Jerusalem area. During this month, we will focus on collecting personal narratives that can help us create our initial flow map. These narratives can be testimonies, stories, memories, videos and images, shared by historians, collectors, artisans, farmers and residents inside and outside of Al Jib. This work will be paralleled by a series of oral history sessions that take place over nearly a year and archival research that needs to be further developed in light of the research approach.