The current cycle of weekly workshops for English language was activated in October, 2015 at Al Feneiq Centre in Dheisheh Camp. In the past, learning English has meant absorbing rules and a homogenous vocabulary that is also sometimes sacrificial to actual self-expression. The true meaning of bilingualism however, relies on the ability of a person to express their true mind in two different tongues, expanding the scope of self expression. In the workshops, the idea that true knowledge comes from experience, conversation, and life is combined with the practice of bilingualism.
Each week, participants of Campus in Camps meet to read and discuss a part of the Collective Dictionary and generate stories around the term discussed. Now the participants are working on the creation of new forms of the Collective Dictionary in both Arabic and English. They are working in the productive space of translation, between two languages in order to re-define words and meanings, to put new language to our understanding of the camp, and to imagine new ways of intervening collectively.
The workshops are attended by members of Campus in Camps but also function as one-time happenings that are open to the community.
Elsa Raker/Yara Al Afandi