The New York  Review of Books, April 7, 2016

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Thomas Keenan in conversation with Carin Kuoni, New School (2015)

The Political in and of Art [English]

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New York Times, September 6, 2014
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Al-Ayam Newspaper, November 27, 2013
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Ma’an News Agency, November 15, 2013
“Gestures of Returne” in Birziet [Arabic]
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Ma’an News Agency, November 11, 2013
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Al Hewar.com “الحوار المتمدن” , November 7, 2013
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This Week In Palestine Magazine, September 26, 2013
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Ma’an News Agency, September 7, 2013
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Globalurbanist.com, August 13, 2013
Tracing a line through a fractured Palestine, from Arroub to Bethlehem [English]
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Il Lavoro Culturale, July 17, 2013
Riattivare il comune: le iniziative di Campus in Camps [Italian]
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Unrwa.org, June 25, 2013
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Ma’an News Agency, June 20, 2013
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Al-Ayam Newspaper, May 10, 2013
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Jadaliyya.com, March 26, 2013
Beyond the State: The Refugee Camp as a Site of Political Invention. [English]
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Al-Ayam Newspaper, March 18, 2013
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PNN, Palestinian News Network, March 16,2013
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Theatrum Mundi/Global Street, March 4, 2013
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Ma’an News Agency, January 17, 2013
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Il Lavoro Culturale, January 9, 2013
Campus in Camps. Nuovi percorsi dell’Università nel funzionamento sociale. [Italian]
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Al Quds Newspaper, May 7, 2012
Read the article [PDF – arabic]
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The Jerusalem Post, May 3, 2012
“Campus in Camp” program helps the younger generation wrestle with conflicting demands and questions of identity
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DHEISHEH REFUGEE CAMP

Palestine refugee camps are usually looked as a site of marginalization, poverty and political subjugation. However, after more than six decades, these refugee camps are not any more made of tents and bodies that simply need to be fed but are now complex urban environments in which unconceived social and political organization are emerging.

The image of the camp only as a site of marginality and poverty is not only produced by international media and organizations, but it is also adopted by the majority of Palestinian refugees as a dominant discourse on the right of return. In this narrative the camp simply does not exist, or it exists only in order to be destroyed so as to allow for a return back home. This narration suppressed a practice and a culture produced in all these years of exile. The erasure of the camp from the narrative creates a sense of alienation and frustration about the present condition and an impossibility to act thus forcing the refugee only into the role of a victim.

In our ongoing interventions in camps we aim to challenge this dominant narrations and demonstrate that the right of return could be re-articulated from a better understating of what constitutes a camp today. In exploring the notion of exile in a productive way we aim to intervene by emphasizing the strengths instead of the weaknesses of the condition of exile, and what has been accomplished by refugees in 67 years despite the suffering and the difficulties.

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THE CONCRETE TENT

The Concrete Tent is a gathering space for communal learning. It hosts cultural activities, a working area and an open space for social meetings. The urgency and idea of such a space emerged in discussion with the participants of Campus in Camps who saw a possibility to materialize and give architectural form to narrations and representations of camps and refugees beyond the idea of poverty, marginalization and victimization.

The Concrete Tent has become a site of exchange, debates and self-reflection and has quickly taken the role as a gathering place. Youth are using it as meeting point, newlyweds have found the tent to be a good place to celebrate and are taking their wedding pictures in front of the curious architecture, negotiators from the camp are using it for peace resolution meeting among families, social and cultural events are happening.

The Concrete Tent deals with the paradox of a permanent temporariness. It solidifies a mobile tent into a concrete house. The result is a hybrid between a tent and a concrete house, temporariness and permanency, soft and hard, movement and stillness.

 

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THE SQUARE

If the camp is the testimony of over sixty years of exile, would a “public square” signify that refugees were giving up the right of return and accepting their life in the camp? Would a “public square” create a distance from the classic image of a camp constituted of miserable living condition? Or, on the contrary, would a “public square” create a physical space where public issues can be more openly represented and discussed? It took seven years of discussions with the community to realized the Square, built as a house without a roof, and conceived as an enclosed space protected by four walls, it is dedicated to the surrounding neighbourhood. Through direct participation from the refugee community, the space has been put to use even before its completion, inundated with a range of new activities.

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SHUFAT SCHOOL

The design of the school is inspired by the educational approach cultivated by Hilal and Petti in Campus in Camps. Their approach is devoted to the formation of egalitarian learning environments. They believe in a dialogic education, in which knowledge is produced in a collective effort rather than understood as information to be transferred from authority to student. The generative form of the school is a circular space, a space around which people can gather to tell or listen to a story. Completed for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, in August 2014, the school consists of 40 classes, a library, computer laboratory, a multi-purpose room, a counseling room, two administrative rooms, and it is used by 1.000 students, teachers and local organisations.

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CRITICAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

By activating critical learning and egalitarian environments Campus in Camps seeking out a manner of critical intervention for the strengthening of the social fabric of communities, while seeking to contribute to the way universities understand themselves, aiming to overcome conventional structure

 

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REACTIVATING

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03.Sao Paulo Bienal

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