Talking stone: for an anti-colonial architecture

29-21/08, 2-4/09/2018

The “Talking Stones” project explores the effects of the Israeli apartheid colonial politics in the cities of Acres and Hebron, based on stories and practices related to the memory of places, multiple affiliations, experiences of exile and aspirations to return to Palestine, during the “16th International Architecture Exhibition – Venice Biennale 2018: Free Spaces”.
It is initiated by the MedFil Humanities Institute thanks to the participation of Venetian (Pas-e and Biennale Urbana) and international partners (Riwaq in Palestine and others). The team works with a group of volunteers in Palestine, made up of students, young workers, architects, artists and inhabitants, in collaboration with italians participants.
It gives rise to two workshops, Studio Palestine from august 29 to 31 at the Pas-e studio, Cannaregio 3561, Venice and Topographies, from september 2 to 4, followed by an exhibition from september 10 to november 15, 2018 as part of the infinities Spaces program of Esperienza Pepe and Biennale Urbana at Caserma Pepe on the Lido island.

The project explores the effects of the Israeli apartheid colonial politics in the cities of Acres and Hebron since 1948. It analyzes the cultural and production dimensions of space under occupation, where collective memory and architecture meet. The questioning of this space-time follows different methods: the realization of a model of a district of Hebron as well as a cartography of the cities, and audio and video interviews with former inhabitantss, photographs of places and ruins, and a collection of folk arts, crafts and raw materials. These different production methods aim to open the rigid borders between researchers and students, between professional artists, architects, documentary filmmakers and the public,

Colonization affects collective memory and public space. At these levels, the Palestinian people have suffered and are still suffering from a multiple process of “deconstruction”: several scales of destruction contribute to it, in the fragmentation of the territories, the colonization by civilians and the military occupation which have confined a society behind walls and checkpoints, forced exile and life in refugee camps for 70 years.
This project is part of a movement opposed to this mortifying deconstruction, and aims to “build” the conditions of possibility to think about a future, from the resistance to the ruins of the present, as it exists in culture and  daily life. On the one hand, the approach is to create continuity and a future-oriented attitude, where the occupation has led to fragmentation and exhaustion. On the other, to question the meaning of decolonial architecture, in the reconstruction of houses that have been destroyed, the repair of abandoned historical monuments, places of worship and spaces for socializing.

August 29-31, 2018
Studio Pas-e
Cannaregio 3561 – Venice

Topographies are measured against architecture in a temporal perspective, and against an immaterial and affective dimension of space, where space interacts with subjective and collective memory.
The project, a nomadic work-in-progress, will give rise to sound composition work, oriented towards sound creation and musical creation and its elements of voice and song, traditional music from the Middle East, where the voice is of great importance, contemporary music, the sound creations of the participants, the collective stories, tales, and poetry… By using sound archives as well as new realizations, it is possible to build a geographical topography but also historical, both at the same time. The morphology of the territories corresponds to the sound recordings. In this intimate journey of listening (to the other) lies the political use of language, voices materialize, sounds circulate in living spaces, silences protect the inexpressible. As in music,
we will develop a route, a double circuit which goes from the collection and recording of stories and their contexts, to the production of a map describing the places, situating stories, archival documents, and images, where this journey will materialize in a constellation composed of all these elements in a new geography: a collection of oral and visual stories that reflect daily life, places of life, work, passage and memory, music (radio archives and sound creations, voices, songs, background noises, pieces of music, interviews and conversations, etc.) collected.

Studio Palestine
September 2-4, 2018
Caserma Pepe – Venice Lido

1948, a pivotal date in the modern history of the Palestinian people, is also the date of the creation of the State of Israel on the ruins of Palestinian society. Palestinians identify this date with the day of a catastrophe, Al-Nakba, which destroyed the cultural, architectural and societal infrastructure of historic Palestine. Al-Nakba is a collective trauma, a place of memory for an entire community and a matrix of an emerging nationalist political narrative.
The destruction of Palestinian homes and traditional ways of life, combined with uprooting and the brutal situation of uprooting and loss of origins, has materialized in the accumulation of exiled refugees in remote camps and in the heart of historic Palestine. The camp has become the “other self” of the Israeli settlement built on the territory of destroyed towns and villages, turning into a mirror of a Palestine absorbed by Israel. Furthermore, through the development of a national consciousness, stateless Palestinian refugees have drawn on the popular and scholarly literature of the Nakba to construct a future of the lost Palestine.
Studio Palestine will explore the architecture of the occupation and its historical development over the past decades in the city of Hebron. A model of a district of the city will be made on site and stories of the daily life of the city and the struggles will be created through images and drawings gathered around the issue of the production of space and its consequences. , the monumental and heritage heritage as well as the transformation of routes and neighborhoods since 1948, through cartography.

Loved Land
Night of september 3, 2018
Retrospective of documentary films

Marina Nebbiolo (MedFil Humanities Institute) |
Victor Nebbiolo di Castri and Valeria Zane (Pas-e) |
Andrea Curtoni and Giulia Mazzorin (Biennale Urbana) |
Lorenzo Romito (Stalker/ON Rome) |

MedFil Humanities Institute (France-Palestine) |
Pas-e (Italy) |
Biennial Urbana (Italy) |
Riwaq (Palestine) |
Arab Youth Association Haifa (Israel) |
NGO Zochrot (Israel) |
The 6b Saint Denis (France) |