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Designing Civic Encounter is a series of interventions engaging in existing and potential forms of urban development and public culture. The event will unfold through a bus tour traversing urban locations within and around Ramallah city enabling debates and conversations at different stations, a two-day symposium on questions of urban transformations in Palestinian and other Arab cities, and a full day workshop with visionary social architect Teddy Cruz.
Inspired by ongoing dialogues on ArtTerritories’ website and by the wider civic movements in the region, ArtTerritories proposes an open forum for the inquiry and discussion of the public urban experience under the current trends in planning, financing and building practices. Although Ramallah is a relatively small city, it has experienced radical urban expansions and population growth since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and the consequent establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. Real Estate is the main target for foreign corporate investment today. What kind of living space do these investments create?
The bus tour will highlight a number of distinctive urban landscapes that can be considered emblematic of wider political issues taking place in Palestine. In a close reading of contemporary urban restructuring in the region, the symposium brings to light that the Palestinian context is not as unique and isolated as it may appear but in fact shares many commonalities with rapid developments in Beirut, Amman and Dubai.
The project is conceived as a vibrant multimedia laboratory of ideas and debate. During four days, the city will be under investigation through cultural and artistic initiatives, innovative research projects and political visions.
Attracting an active local and international roster of architects, artists, educators, environmentalists, community activists and politicians, the public event hopes to be a catalyst to produce new civic imaginations and alternative urban policies towards a more inclusive social sustainability.
Designing Civic Encounter
21 - 24 July 2011
Sharek Youth Forum, Ramallah
Yazid Anani, Shumon Basar, Taysir Batniji, Suhad Bishara,Teddy Cruz, Rami Daher, Hangar, Alessandro Petti, Ahmad Saleh, Muhammad Shtayyeh, Omar Yousef