Michael BAERS


From : Berlin, Germany
To: Beit Sahour, Battir, Occupied Territories of the West Bank, Palestine

Decolonizing Architecture


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How did this grant contribute to the realization of your project in regard to artistic exchange, local cultural development and/or the promotion of cultural diversity?

This trip, which I extended an additional two weeks in order to continue my research, was invaluable in my continuing effort to work in the region and to get an adequate overview of the conflict’s historical and spatial complexities. Beside being able to generate the necessary preparatory material for my project (a collaboration with Decolonizing Architecture and a graphic novel now in production), I was able to get an extremely good overview of the conflict from the perspective of space and law, thanks to the summer school program organized by Quds University, with a special emphasis on the situation in the Gush Etzion region (known by the Palestinians as the West Bethlehem Village Area), a highly contested area in the struggle against further land annexation by Israel. Among the speakers who presented were researchers, lawyers, journalists, planning activists, and human rights activists. I also was able to spend a good deal of time with the members of Decolonizing Architecture during which time I generated a chronology of their overall project, and met with some of their past collaborators and colleagues. In addition, I documented the activities of Decolonizing’s residents for the summer, living and working with them in Battir, observing how they formulated architectura approaches to contesting Area C, and designing the garden of villa on the B/C line in Battir—a villa whose construction has been protested by the settler activist NGO, Regavim.

How does exchange, networking and international contacts contribute to the development of your artistic and cultural project?

Naturally, without contacts within Palestine, and access to Palestinian scholars, my project was not possible. I rely on these contacts to give me legitimacy and to make additional contacts vital for my work to progress. In addition, international exchange and communication has been a consistent part of my work activity.

Roberto Cimetta Fund

c/o ONDA
13 bis rue Henri Monnier
75009 Paris - France


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