Mohammad Abusal

Arist & coordinator gaza

abusalmohamed.com

Mohamed Abusal (b. 1976, Gaza) artistic projects are daring, critical and scathing comments on what is deemed permissible in terms of technology and civilization in Gaza today. His “Metro in Gaza” (2012) proposes a network of seven metro lines to connect the different areas of Gaza Strip. He made an illuminated metro sign and set off to fix and photograph this sign wherever he imagines the metro stations should be. His “Shambar” (2013) is on the alternative and creative light solutions created or lived by people in Gaza as a result of the continuous disconnection of electricity. Shown at Al-Mamal Foundation in Jerusalem, and the French Institute in Gaza, Ramallah, and Nablus, the work exists in photographic and painting series. Abusal exhibited extensively around the world over the last decade, notably in France, where he has had several solo exhibitions, in addition to the US, UK, Australia, and Dubai. In 2005 he was awarded the Charles Aspry Prize for Contemporary Art. He is a founding member of “Eltiqa”, a an active group of contemporary artists that came together in 2002.

"For me, DDFP is indeed completely political, but in an intelligent and artistic way. It is a clever way to make resistance. The Israeli are using every opportunity to make us accept the wall, to let us think that we can live a normal live within this containment. Through DDFP I can express not to accept the wall. We incorporate our political views within the objects we make and through the Disarming design platform they can leave the country. They are being exposed and sold in the rest of the world so people can hear us from this side of the wall.

Even Palestine is subject to a global economical reality and foreign large-scale, low-cost production has led to the closure of many factories in Palestine. Even our traditional scarfs are now produced in China. The Israeli siege also bears an enormous responsibility. Because of the occupation, it became impossible to import the necessary raw materials; therefor many small-scale crafts studios went out of business. The result is that the knowledge and skills are no longer been transferred from father to son.

I have learned many things while participating, things far beyond what they explicitly offer us. Imagine that there are no learning resources in Gaza, no libraries, no universities where we can learn about the new styles of design.

This collaborative approach is an incredible tool that can be used to re-open closed crafts shops. It is intelligent to make a link between the creation of new objects for new needs, new markets and new trends with our own craft heritage in mind."(From Kurt Vanbelleghem interview, Can one really benefit from a social design project, or is it just another spin at the wheel?)