In this talk, architects, artists, and educators Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti discuss the urgency to move away from the usual binary used to describe refugees, migrants, and hospitality: one either lives a temporary life in a refugee camp, or becomes a citizen with a permanent residency permit. Drawing on their experience in refugee camps, Hilal and Petti ask: What is the role of cultural workers in acknowledging and challenging the condition of permanent temporariness—a way to describe contemporary life with all its uncertainty? Taking its cue from this question, this talk introduces four key concepts in Hilal and Petti’s practice: the commons, participation, hospitality, and heritage—words that explore the conditions of refugeehood and that goes beyond the vocabulary of aid, help, and development.
Currently part of AAA’s Residency Programme, Hilal and Petti examine the social, economic, and political consequences of exile and displacement. They are the founders of Campus in Camps, an experimental educational programme located in Dheisheh refugee camp in Palestine, exploring and producing new forms of representation of camps and refugees. They are also the co-founders, with Eyal Weizman, of Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) in Beit Sahour, which combines an architectural studio with an art residency, working at the intersection of politics and architecture.
Free and open to the public with registration.
Sandi Hilal is currently working on the Living Room project in Sweden, a series of hospitality spaces with the potential to subvert the role of guest and host. Alessandro Petti is Professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.
Hilal and Petti have participated in various international exhibitions, including Qalandiya International (2016), Marrakech Biennale (2016), Asian Art Biennial (2015), La Biennale di Venezia (2003, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2015), Bienal de São Paulo (2014), Home Works Beirut (2010), and Istanbul Biennial (2009). They have received multiple awards, such as the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College, Loeb Fellowship Harvard University, and Prince Claus Prize for Architecture.
Hilal and Petti’s residency is supported by the S. H. Ho Foundation Limited, and the C. K. & Kay Ho Foundation. Their stay in Hong Kong is also possible thanks to the generous support of Caroline Chiu and Paul Aiello.