WORKSHOP: THE REAL AND THE ABSENTannelys
DISARMING DESIGN WORKSHOP
‘THE REAL AND THE ABSENT’
Hosh Jalsa Birzeit, 14, 21, 28 july, 4 August
Francisca Khamis (PS/CL) is an interdisciplinary designer who, during her residency at Disarming Design from Palestine, will set up 4 collective meetings to work and research on the topics of oral tradition and collective memory. The gatherings are designed for students, young scholars, independent researchers and culture and tradition enthusiasts who would like to introduce oral history in their practice and also record and preserve and share unwritten stories.
Anything that I have to say,
that’s because a whole bunch of people,
a whole bunch of history,
a whole bunch of things sent me
to say it.
The sessions will overview methods and exercises on oral tradition, including collective readings and screenings on the topic, and different exercises to explore the notion of memory and collective memory. Collective memories highlight relationships that allow a crossing and intermingling between differences. We will explore the world as a network of interacting memories, stories and communities, though with a specific understanding of the different experiences that must underline the (hi)stories.
We will also reflect on the potentialities of images, approaching different mediums for creating a common experience, taking the stories that we collect as a starting point. We will consider film, performance, audio, photography, and writing as means of resistance, and tools to generate new critical forms, materials and ideas.
Each session will start with a text or a film on the subject of memory, oral tradition and listening, to create a context for the exercises that we will work on during the second part of the session. These exercises will allow us to embody some of the discussed topics and also to translate this knowledge into different outputs.
At the end of the 4 gatherings, we will create a collective exhibition to share all the different stories collected. This will be open to the public at Hosh Jalsa and showed in Amsterdam, in the context of the Sandberg Instituut.
Session 1: Holding memories. Stories of displacement and Oral Tradition as a way as knowing.
How can we reflect, integrate and interact with oral tradition? What tools do we need to understand the experience of another? Who am I listening to? — We will explore the notions of listening and understandings of our past and ancestors as part of our present, working on listening exercises based on the task of deep listening by Pauline Oliveros.
We will also reflect on the importance of oral tradition in stories of diaspora. For this, we will have the presence (via Skype) of participants from the Palestinian diaspora in Latin America exchanging the families stories between Palestinians here and those who know Palestine just through family stories.
Session 2: Objects of memory and Storytelling as a strategy.
We will reflect on the notions of memories linked with specific objects and the importance of storytelling as a strategy of resistance. Each participant will be asked to choose one object that is important for her/him. We will center our listening around the object. How can it allow us to ‘see history’ and help us remember? How are we translating these memories and stories into coherent narratives?
Stories are an essential part of our individual and collective identity, the stories we tell about ourselves and the stories other people tell about us, define us.
What does it mean to frame our lives or other lives and situations like this – as an unfolding story moving towards resolution? What does it mean to make the chaos of our experience cohere into a single story? Is it essential to be in possession of a full and explicit narrative to develop as a person or as a group?
Session 3: Walking to remember. Exploring subjective memories in the public space.
We will explore the interconnections between walking, listening, space and oral history in the context of what could be termed ‘memorial audio walks’, about memories that are related to a specific site. To enable the participants to experience some of these questions and concepts through their own bodies, a series of short practical exercises will be proposed. Altogether, participants will be introduced to different approaches to oral history performance, and to some of the key artistic, ethical, and methodological questions raised by this emergent field of practice.
Session 4: Collective narrative
Does a performance of memory need to include words? When is it necessary and appropriate to re-present someone else’s oral history testimony? What roles do listening, remembering and going public play in the performance of oral history?
In this session we will work all together to create a space that gathers all the stories and outputs shared during the previous sessions, creating ways to present them into a specific space, working as a collective.
The exhibition will be open to the public at Hosh Jalsa and showed in Amsterdam, in the context of the Sandberg Instituut.
Course Dates: 14.07, 21.07, 28.07, 04.08
Hours: 16:00 – 20:00
Participation is free of charge.
This course will be held in English.
Event Location: Hosh Jalsa, Birzeit
Maximum capacity: 12 people
Francisca Khamis (CL / PS) is an Amsterdam-based interdisciplinary designer, who focusing on the cases of diaspora, explores the mobility between reality and fantasy of the immigrants’ memory based on her family story (originally from Beit Jala and Bethlehem) and how this leads to new realities around personal identities. Francisca is currently working in collaboration with Tina Reden and Davide Sanvee in the project In between worlds, where they zoom in on alternative ways of knowing and the task of listening as a strategy to breaking open the modern control over a singular narrative and chronology. She has been invited as designer-in-residence at Hosh Jalsa from june to september 2019.
More info: www.franciscakhamis.com