A public urban intervention, part of a larger personal on-going project titled "Island 861 How to disappear". A transient monument of nothingness, a spatial manifestation of urban political power, where the city betrayed its own inhabitants. The story is told in an Ammani neighborhood, representing the symbolic cleansing of a marginalized "informal" settlement.
Boundaries, streets, buildings, open fields – the cities we inhabit are socio-political entities. The complexity of a place reflects and gives shape to social, economic, historical material and political formations... Inland-islands are one spatial reproduction of intangible boundaries, where exclusion and inclusion guards its imagined peripheries, the island that symbolizes the part of the city that is isolated from the sum...
861 is plot the number that is given to the semi physical island in the valley where the demolition has occurred in Hay Al Qaisyyeh. The name ‘ island' is given to resembles the perseverance of modernist utopias and borrows the name from the fictional 'island' society in Greece by Sir Thomas More. With concepts of modernity justifying 'destruction' with 'progression', or as ‘the price of progress’. Erasing the informal, unofficial to build more exclusive islands of excessive consumption, The “Consumerist Utopia”.
The installation touches on the level of the “ invisible”, a site-specific installation made out of a series of wind harps aligned as a monument of fragments; resembling the power, the edge, the margin, and the periphery. A monument of contemplation.. A monument of the absent, where the City betrayed its own inhabitants.
The installation through its monolithic monumentality is an intervention to confront opposites, the visible vs the invisible city, the official vs the unofficial city, a public vs a private city, an interpretation structured as a grid built on individual fragments. It is a representation of transient powers in the city, through its planning or re-planning, monuments and non-monuments.
As an architect; this project stems from my quest to contest the "Right to the City" the right to make [remake] the cities in which we live in. The project is a personal quest to answer questions I am seeking answers for; are we able to influence the course of destruction and displacement? Or can one resist, rebel, or at least agitate? so that marginalized places such neighbourhood wouldn't go forgotten.
Who has the power in the city, who builds its superstructures, who builds its utopian monument, and who has the power to take them down? Can architecture be an instrument for social transformation? or is it completely incapable of playing that role, since it has been employed as a tool for development of capitalism.
In this work I built my own temporary poetic monument for a forgotten part of my city.
Sounds choreographs emptiness through the passing wind, the egoless symphony, a symphony with no creator or ego, played by the non-existent or the invisible.