Annual report 2018annelys
The year of 2018 has been an important transformative period where we focussed on the professionalization of our organization and moved to a new unique location in Birzeit, from where our dreams could emerge. At the start of the year we were selected by the French media platform On Orient as one of the most important artistic platforms to follow in 2018. This report captures what followed and narrates about the events and developments that happened. We hope to unveil what design can mean in a precarious reality and how it can be practiced as a form of artistic expression that is vital to human dignity, and can contribute to the critical understanding of ones personal position and agency.
May 2nd we were very exited to sign the contract for our new space with the mayor of Birzeit. And the same month Raed Hamouri came to work full time at Disarming Design and took the role of executive director.
We had two important solo exhibitions in the Design Museum Ghent and at Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam. We were invited for design biannuals in Barcelona (REHOGAR X) and Istanbul (Design Biannual; ‘School of Schools’) — and participated in an exhibition at the Design Museum London for which we developed a new product. We were able to get permanent sales places in the museum shops of the Palestine Museum in Birzeit, WIELS in Brussels, the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and Nieuw Dakota in Amsterdam — and temporary sales at the Design Museum Ghent and Onnomatopee.
We were able to almost double our sales compared to 2017 and had a generous order from the Palestine Peace Center in Aidelaide (AU) and sold well during our show in Hôtel Droog and during the embassy market in The Hague. We have been lucky with amazing international design interns from Portugal (Inês Marques), the Netherlands (Mirelle van Tulder) and Italy (Tommasso Anceschi) who helped us with the different exhibitions, improved all the technical sheets of our products, organized our stock and brought more order in our space. Also design workshops were given at our new space, with a growing community of participants. And we received generous support to develop new video’s on the production proces of our items.
Thanks to the support of three cultural funds in the Netherlands and Belgium we were able to develop our activities and invest in the establishment of a new design program in our space. At the end of the year we launched a crowdfundcampaign to find support for our new school. The organization BuildPalestine has helped us tremendously in developing our campaign and get our goals clear.
In 2018 we started to develop an alternative design program and have had really inspiring activities in Hosh Jalsa. Student clubs of the University of Birzeit started activities as a cinema club, an open mic night and participated in artistic workshops. Additionally we have had conversations with partnering schools such as Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam, Sint Lucas Antwerp and Birzeit University to further explore educational exchanges. In 2019 we hope to establish a solid start for an empowering and more sustainable program.
This narrative report gives an overview of the main activities and developments that took place in this vibrant year for Disarming Design from Palestine. We are deeply gratefull for all those who have supported us, believed in our dreams and embraced how design can contribute to emancipation and solidarity.
Ghadeer Dajani, Raed Hamouri, Annelys de Vet, March 2019