Despite and Because. On Politics & Poetics of Collaboration Across the Mediterraneans - Online public programme

14 May / 20 Nov, 2023
Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto / ONLINE

UNIDEE Residency Programs is happy to announce the launch of the online public programme Despite and Because. On Politics & Poetics of Collaboration Across the Mediterraneans.
Inscribed in the framework of the Neither on Land nor at Sea biennium at UNIDEE, this programme of monthly online talks seeks to enquire into ways of instituting, organising, caring, and commoning in the arts, bringing to the forefront some of the experiences currently inhabiting and activating the Mediterranean spaces.

Despite & Because invites curators, practitioners and facilitators from art organisations and projects that operate or have originated in the broader Mediterranean region to get together, so to discuss ways of practising, researching, caring, and struggling together, within and through (para-)institutional and collective settings.

The programme aims to unsettle the understanding of the Mediterranean as a graspable locality, exploring shared or recurring conditions as well as stark contradictions. In doing so, it also brings to the public conversations on systems, infrastructures and means, which are oftentimes held in private.

The online public programme runs parallel to the UNIDEE residency modules, starting in May 2023, allowing for an additional form of engagement and participation in the themes and methodologies explored in this season of the UNIDEE programming, open to all.

More information about the calendar of events to follow soon.

• 1
School of Intrusions
with Noor Abed and Lara Khaldi
Sunday 14 May 2023, 11 am (CEST) online
Link for registration

School of Intrusions is a collective of sorts practicing informal ways of gathering in and around specific urban and rural sites. The members of the group change and fluctuate. It grew out of a conversation about education, art schools, collectivity, and the city as a common space in Palestine. Together the group developed a set of tools to navigate the city as a site of knowledge and how this knowledge is produced.


Noor Abed
works at the intersection of performance, media and film. Her works create situations where social possibilities are both rehearsed and performed. Abed’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally at Anthology Film Archives, New York, Gabes Cinema Fen Film Festival, Tunisia, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, The New Wight Biennial, Los Angeles, Leonard & Bina Gallery, Montréal, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, The Mosaic Rooms, London, and MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Art, Rome, among others. In 2020, she co-founded, with Lara Khaldi, the School of Intrusions, an independent educational collective in Ramallah, Palestine. Abed is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam 2022-24 and was recently awarded the Han Nefkens Foundation/Fundació Antoni Tàpies Video Art Production Grant 2022.

Lara Khaldi is an independent curator and critic from Jerusalem, Palestine, living temporarily in Amsterdam. She was part of the curatorial team of documenta 15. Until recently she was the head of the Media Studies Programme at Alquds Bard College, Jerusalem and a tutor in the Disarming Design MA program, at Sandberg Institute, 2020-2022. Khaldi is appointed as the new director of the contemporary art space de Appel in Amsterdam, starting from January 2023.

• 2
Mahal Art Space & Tajarrod
with Nouha Ben Yebdri and Sarri Elfaitouri
Tuesday 20 June 2023, 6 pm (CEST) online
Link for registration

Mahal Art Space is an independent and alternative space, a 35 m2 white cube in Tangier, dedicated to the promotion of contemporary practices, especially in the visual arts, through a transdisciplinary approach. Mahal Art Space's mission focuses on the invention of new (local) artistic ‘protocols', to the reflection on art spaces and their environment, and to the different constraints related to the artist's practice and audiences. The project is mainly aimed at artists and other practitioners who are at the beginning of their careers, as well as at the general public. Towards this direction, Mahal Art Space is committed to creating an ecology of practices that connects in particular the young/emerging art scene in Morocco, with different audiences and communities in the city of Tangier and beyond, as well as with established artists and agents in the field.

Tajarrod is a pedagogical design led research practice aiming to challenge the dominant socio-cultural and disciplinary ideologies in Libyan and beyond. Tajarrod's projects vary between the production of theoretical writings and investigations, exhibitions, workshops, as well as the organization of public dialogues and competitions.


Nouha Ben Yebdri is an independent curator, founder and director of MAHAL, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to respond to and accompany the needs of the emerging contemporary art scene in Morocco, from its headquarters in Tangier. Her curatorial practice focuses on the reflection and conception of projects around issues related to the development of art spaces, institutionalization procedures, mediation/outreach protocols, and the impact that these spaces have on their environment; as well as the study of contextual factors that influence the conception of the terms and dynamics that unfold through these processes and places. These efforts are conveyed and put into practice through the programming of the independent space Mahal (or also known as Mahal Art Space) and Silent Pedagogies - بيداغوجيات صامتة , a program that questions the curricula of artistic training in Morocco and analyzes the relationship of art spaces with the different audiences it hosts and works with.

Some of the projects she has curated through these two programs include: the Méta Skholé Libre workshops (with Jean-Paul Thibeau); the group exhibitions Iconographies de la rue (with Think Tanger), Tangier: Facets of a Mediterranean Intersection (with Robin Vermeulen), and What Dies Last, an online and in-person show; Maared/ Aarada - معرض/عراضة, an exhibition and public program (with Mouhawalat collective); undercurrents, an independent training and learning platform, together with LE18, Derb El Ferran and Fondation Dar Bellarj, both based in Marrakech.

Sarri Elfairouri is an interdisciplinary architect, artist, curator, cultural manager, and writer based in Benghazi, Libya, and the founder and director of Tajarrod, a pedagogical design led research practice. Through historical archeologies and socio-spatial interventions his work is dedicated to developing radical spaces of critical learning and acting within his context “Libya” and beyond.


• 3
QANAT & Sakiya
with Francesca Masoero, Shayma Nader, Sahar Qawasmi, Nida Sinnokrot
1st August, 18h CEST (online)
link for registration

is a collective platform that explores the politics and poetics of water to reflect and act (up)on the multiple contextual understandings and forms of (re)production of the commons in Morocco, Palestine and beyond. Drawing from various forms of knowledge and acts of resistance and solidarity to dominant environmental narratives and injustices, QANAT aims to create spaces through which we can speculate upon new collective imaginaries to design new spatial and epistemological configurations for our cities. The collective develops archives of resonant reflections and actions that knit together local struggles into transnational patterns for nourishing debates across dispersed localities. QANAT was initiated at LE 18, Marrakech.

Sakiya is a progressive academy for experimental knowledge production and sharing, grafting local agrarian traditions of self-sufficiency with contemporary art and ecological practices. This circular system of knowledge production and sharing integrates agriculture within the framework of an interdisciplinary residency program, where cultural actors, such as farmers and crafts/small industry initiatives, assume a prominent role alongside visiting and local artists and scholars. Sakiya’s core programs engage food production, exhibitions, symposia, publications, and education/training workshops, exploring the intersections between art, science, and agriculture in a sustainable and replicable model.



Francesca Masoero works as a curator, cultural organiser and researcher. She is part of LE 18, a cultural space in Marrakech (Morocco), where she initiated QANAT. With a background in critical theory and political economy, she explores notions resistances in multiple forms, including testing collective-making processes within and beyond the art field, and researching the politics and poetics linked to watery worlds and to forms of being together otherwise. Since 2019, she has also been collaborating extensively with the Dar Bellarj Foundation (Marrakech - Morocco).

Shayma Nader iis an artist, curator and translator from Palestine. For the past few years, she's been developing and organising workshops and projects focussed on forging and reactivating memories of and in the land through collective walking, listening and fictioning to move towards decolonial and land-centred imaginaries and practices. She is a member of Qanat; a collective platform exploring the politics and poetics of water, and a PhD candidate in artistic research at ARIA at Sint Lucas School of Arts and University of Antwerp.

Sahar Qawasmi worked as an architect, restorer, planner, and cultural heritage expert with Riwaq, Center for Engineering and Planning, and other local and private institutions. In 2012, Sahar coordinated the first edition of Qalandiya International, and co-wrote the first of Riwaq’s Re-Walk Heritage Guidebook Series. In 2016, she co-curated the Ramallah Municipality’s exhibition for Qalandiya International III. She was an architecture fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany in 2014-2015. Sahar received her BA in Architecture from Birzeit University and her Master in Architecture from Miami University.

Nida Sinnokrot’s work aims to subvert various technologies of control that give rise to shifting social, political and geographic instabilities. His works featured in exhibitions including the Sharjah Biennial (2017 and 2009), Taipei Biennial (2016), Tea with Nefertiti (2012/14), and Biennial Cuvée – World Selection of Contemporary Art (2010). Nida’s work is in various collections including the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Khalid Shoman Foundation. Nida lives and works in Jerusalem and Boston and teaches in the Art Culture and Technology (ACT) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


• 3 

BAR Project & Vessel
with Andrea Rodríguez Novoa, Viviana Checchia, Anna Santomauro

20th September, 18.30h CEST (online)
link for registration


BAR project is a curatorial initiative in movement promoting trans-disciplinary dialogue, hospitality, collaboration, and exchange among art and society. BAR project is deeply inspired, taking its name and modus operandi, from the bar, a popular and transcultural meeting place in the countries of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, as a space of knowledge production thanks to the social relations and informal conversations it generates.
BAR project develops a roaming public program in the city of Barcelona understood as an experimental public space and commonplace for action and exhibition of durational events – such as performance, conversation, and other artistic gestures, that question current political, social, and economic subjects. These goals are achieved through residencies and pedagogical formats which results are the fruit of dialogue and exchange between local, national and international agents and the socio-cultural fabric of the city.

Vessel is a nomadic curatorial organisation and agency invested in supporting artistic and curatorial practices that are situated, responsive and research-led. Driven by a biographical and epistemological belonging to the South – the Southern Europe and Mediterranean regions in particular – it is interested in how social and ecological imagination can be enhanced in order to critically engage with the sets of conditions and infrastructures that sustain contemporary cultural practices. Vessel has devoted great attention to the definition and development of socially-engaged art practice and contributed internationally by way of the application of socially-engaged tools and methods in contemporary curatorial practice. Its practice – embedded in an ongoing act of hosting and being hosted – manifests through public programming, commissioning and writing. In the last 10 years, Vessel has participated and contributed to shaping an understanding of curatorial practice epistemologically connected to a locale (or locality) though not by default based within it.



Andrea Rodríguez Novoa is a curator, architect and writer based in Spain and France. Since February 2022 she is Co-Director and Head of the Professional Program of Barcelona Gallery Weekend. Together with Veronica Valentini, she directs, curates and teaches at BAR project, a residency and a training program in visual arts that she co-founded in Barcelona in 2012. In 2020 she co-founded in Barcelona together with the architect Magdalena Ostornol the project MIA (Meta-Industrial Architectures), in which they develop architectures that address energetic, environmental, economic and social sustainability. Since 2018 she collaborates with Leopold Banchini Architects in Geneva.

Anna Santomauro is curator and researcher in micropolitics and situated ecological practices. She joined Arts Catalyst (Sheffield, UK) in 2017 as Curator, and was recently appointed Senior Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University. She is co-founder of Vessel in Bari (Southern Italy), a non-profit arts organisation dedicated to public programming in relation to contemporary social, political, and economic issues. Anna previously worked as ESP and Public Programmer at Eastside Projects (Birmingham), and in 2018 she was Curator in Residence at Grand Union (Birmingham). In 2013, she was one of the recipients of ICI/Dedalus Research Award. She has lectured, given talks, tutored and led workshops in several institutions, including: CCS Bard College (NYC), Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), Newcastle University, Salt Galata (Istanbul), University of Cambridge, La Casa Encendida (Madrid). She is PhD candidate at the University of Wolverhampton (UK).

Viviana Checchia is a curator, programmer, and researcher active internationally. Viviana is Director of Void Art Centre in Derry, and Co-Director of ‘Vessel’, an international curatorial platform based in Puglia, South of Italy, for the support of social, cultural, and economic development through contemporary art.Previous to these roles she was Residency Curator at Delfina Foundation, London, Senior Lecturer on the MFA at HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg and Public Engagement Curator at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. Viviana has produced and contributed to a range of international projects, including the Young Artist of the Year Award, Ramallah and the 4th Athens Biennale. Viviana holds a PhD from Loughborough University that focused on alternative Mediterranean curatorial practices. She currently serves as a trustee of cultural organisation, Timespan, Helmsdale, Scotland.