Mohamad Hafeda, from artist collective Febrik, reflected on the use of art processes as urban research tools.
Hafeda discussed the capacity of art and design strategies to negotiate the politics of public space, at varying levels of conflict. He presented two bodies of work: The Social Playground – a project series that focuses on play as a potential catalyst for instigating social public interaction – conducted through his practice Febrik in Palestinian refuge camps in Lebanon and Jordan, and in Sceaux Gardens estate in south London; and Bordering Practices – his recent PhD art project series that explored narration and negotiation as forms of documenting and transforming political borders since their resurfacing in Beirut in 2005. The artist reflected on the use of art processes as urban research tools in site-specific projects, which in turn explore different participatory approaches and types of interventions, moving between the site where the research is taking place and the ‘off site’ gallery space.
Unwritten Handbook was a seasonal series of conversations with artists commissioned through Education and Projects at the Serpentine Galleries.
Mohamad Hafeda is an artist and a designer whose current research investigates the negotiation of spaces of political-sectarian conflict and the interplay between material and immaterial borders in contemporary Beirut. He is a founding partner with architect Reem Charif of Febrik, a collaborative platform for participatory art and design research active in Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East and marginal contexts in London. He recently completed a PhD degree in Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is the co-editor of “ Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines” (Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2011), and Febrik’s new publication “Creative Refuge” (Tadween, 2014). Febrik exhibited at South London Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Mosaic Rooms, and Architecture Biennal Rotterdam.
Febrik is a not-for-profit collaborative platform for participatory art and design research projects with practicing architects, designers and artists active in the Middle East and the UK. Febrik is a partnership set up by Joumana al Jabri, Reem Charif and Mohamad Hafeda in collaboration with local partners and creative networks.