Over the course of this day-long workshop, participants from a range of disciplines will analyse and theorise the manifold legacies of fascism that endure in the myriad crises that now reverberate across the Mediterranean region in the present. As a particular form of political and social logic which circulates within and contours contemporary debates, policies, and state projects, the workshop will both diagram Mediterranean Fascism(s), but will also aim to locate the resistant practices that suggest the possibility of something otherwise being put into motion. Specifically, the workshop will explore what is the place of art, architecture and material heritage in shaping and inspiring practices of resistance and processes of de-fascistization.

This workshop was made possible through the support of:

Workshop Schedule

9:00-9:30: Introduction(s) and Opening Remarks: Emilio Distretti & Ian Alan Paul

9:30-11:15: Session I
Léopold Lambert, Heba Amin, Beth Hughes, Platon Issaias

11-15: Coffee break

11.30-12:30: Session II
Emily Jacir, Alessandro Petti

12:30-1:30: Lunch Break

1:30-2:30: Session III
Ida Danewid, Ian Alan Paul

2:30-4.30: Next Steps

Participant Biographies and Materials

Heba Y. Amin

Talk Title: Operation Sunken Sea

Egyptian artist Heba Y. Amin grounds her work in extensive research that looks at the convergence of politics, technology, and architecture. Techno-utopian ideas, as manifest in characteristic machines of colonial soft power, are at the heart of Amin’s work. Starting from the idea that landscape is an expression of dominant political power – Heba Y. Amin looks for tactics of subversion and other techniques to undermine consolidated systems and flip historical narratives through a critical spatial practice. Amin teaches at Bard College Berlin, is a doctorate fellow in art history at Freie Universität, and a current Field of Vision fellow in NYC. She is the co-founder of the Black Athena Collective, the curator of visual art for the MIZNA journal (US), and co-curator for the biennial residency program DEFAULT with Ramdom Association (IT). Furthermore, Amin is also one of the artists behind the subversive graffiti action on the set of the television series “Homeland” which received worldwide media attention. Amin lives in Berlin.

Ida Danewid

Talk Title: “These Walls Must Fall”: The Black Mediterranean and the Politics of Abolition

Ida Danewid is a Lecturer in Gender and Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex. Her research is situated at the nexus of race, gender, political economy, and radical political thought, and specifically focuses on questions of internationalism and the politics of solidarity. She is currently working on a monograph that examines the shared horizons of abolitionist movements around the world. Her most recent publication is “The Fire This Time: Grenfell, Racial Capitalism and the Urbanisation of Empire.”

Emilio Distretti + Alessandro Petti

Talk Title: The Afterlife of Fascist Colonial Architecture

Emilio Distretti is a researcher and an educator. He studied philosophy at the University of Bologna (Italy) and holds a PhD in Aesthetics and the the Politics of Representation from the School of Art and Design at Portsmouth University (UK). Emilio is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Basel. Prior to this Emilio was Research Fellow at the Kenyon Institute (council for British Research in the Levant) in East Jerusalem and Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban Studies and Spatial Practices program at Al Quds Bard College, in Abu Dis in Palestine. Emilio's research takes on interrelated avenues on the politics of space, architectural heritage, Italian fascist colonialism, postcolonial and decolonial politics in the Mediterranean (Italy, North Africa and the Levant) and in the Horn of Africa.

Alessandro Petti is a professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and co-director of DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, an architectural studio and residency program centre around the relation between politics and architecture. DAAR research and interventions have been shown at the Venice Biennale (2003, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2015), the Istanbul Biennial (2009), Home Works Beirut (2010), the São Paulo Biennial (2014), the Asian Art Biennial (2015), the Marrakesh Biennial (2016), Qalandia International (2016), Chicago biennial (2019), Rabat Biennial (2019), Seoul Biennial (2019). Two major retrospective exhibitions about DAAR work were inaugurated at New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery (2018), and at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (2019). In 2012 with Sandi Hilal he founded “Campus in Camps,” an experimental educational program in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Their lasted publication, Permanent Temporariness (art and theory, Stockholm 2019), is a book, a catalogue, and an archive that accounts for fifteen years of research, experimentation, and creation against and within the condition of permanent temporariness.

Beth Hughes + Platon Issaias

Talk Title: Leros: Island of Exile

Platon Issaias studied architecture in Greece (AUTh) and holds an MSc from GSAPP, Columbia University. He received his PhD from TU Delft as a member of the City as Project research collective. He is the director of Projective Cities MPhil programme at the AA, where he also teaches Diploma Unit 7 with Hamed Khosravi. Platon has been practicing individually and in collaboration across a wide range of scales including architecture, urban design and planning. His research investigates the relation between conflict, urban management and architectural form with a focus on political economy and labour struggles.

Beth Hughes is the Head of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. Beth graduated from the University of Technology Sydney, where she later taught. From 2004 to 2009 Beth was an Associate at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA — Rem Koolhaas). In 2009, she joined as a partner at Point Supreme Architects in Athens, Greece and, in 2011, established her own practice in London. Hughes has also taught at the University of Syracuse London, the Bartlett UCL and the University of Cambridge. Beth is the curator of the Thematic Exhibition for the 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

Emily Jacir

Talk Title: Notes for a Cannon

As poetic as it is political and biographical, Jacir’s work investigates histories of colonization, exchange, translation, transformation, resistance, and movement. Jacir has built a complex and compelling oeuvre through a diverse range of media and methodologies that include unearthing historical material, performative gestures, and in-depth research. She has been actively involved in education in Palestine since 2000 and deeply invested in creating alternative spaces of knowledge production internationally. She is the Founding Director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research and was recently the curator the Young Artist of the Year Award 2018 at the A. M. Qattan Foundation in Ramallah "We Shall Be Monsters". Jacir is the recipient of several awards, including a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); a Prince Claus Award from the Prince Claus Fund in The Hague (2007); the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum (2008); the Alpert Award (2011) from the Herb Alpert Foundation; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (2015). Recent solo exhibitions include the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2016-17); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Darat il Funun, Amman (2014-2015); Beirut Art Center (2010); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009).

Léopold Lambert

Talk Title: The Colonial Continuum is not just Temporal, it is also Spatial

Léopold Lambert is the editor-in-chief of The Funambulist. He is also a trained architect and the author of Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence (dpr-barcelona, 2012), Topie Impitoyable: The Corporeal Politics of the Cloth, the Wall, and the Street (punctum books, 2015), La politique du bulldozer: La ruine palestinienne comme projet israélien (Politics of the Bulldozer: The Palestinian Ruin as an Israeli Project, B2, 2016), and Etats d'Urgence: Une histoire spatiale du continuum colonial francais (States of Emergency: A Spatial History of the French Colonial Continuum, LUX, forthcoming 2020).

Ian Alan Paul

Talk Title: Counting on Bodies

Ian Alan Paul (b. 1984) is a transdisciplinary artist and theorist whose work examines instantiations of power and practices of resistance in global contexts. His projects are formally diverse, often making use of text, photography, video, and code, and are informed by contemporary communist and anarchist thought. Presently, he is exploring the planetary entanglement of control, climate change, and capitalism in an experimental documentary and is co-editing an anthology of essays and artworks that explores the consolidation the so-called European Migrant Crisis as an object of political contention, affective investment, and legal and legislative maneuver. Over the course of his life, Ian has lived, taught, and worked for extended periods in the United States, Mexico, Spain, Egypt, and Palestine. He is currently based in Brooklyn, NY and is Assistant Professor of Emerging Media in the Department of Art at Stony Brook University.