SEBASTIA

DIMA SROUJI

23 November 2021, 6 PM - 6:25 PM

Sebastia, a small archaeological town, sits on top of a hill Northwest of Nablus, Palestine surrounded by Shavei Shomron, an illegal Israeli settlement and confiscated agricultural fields of olive groves and apricot trees. This ancient site was excavated multiple times over the last century by colonial archaeologists funded by Zionist individuals and institutions. The first excavation of 1908 led by Harvard University took advantage of Sebastia’s locals including women, men, and children as cheap labor digging their own land for the sake of biblical archaeology. Each excavation extracted soil and artifacts from the ground, taking what they considered valuable to their home institutions and leaving pottery shards and rubble on the surface. Today, what’s left of the archaeological monuments is contested by the nearby settlement as well as the Israeli military. The Roman Forum is a battlefield, but the locals are incredibly resilient.

Dima Srouji is a Palestinian architect exploring the power of the ground, its strata, and its artifacts in revealing silenced narratives and embedded intergenerational memories. The practice excavates moments of potential imaginary liberation searching for ruptures through the coupled past and present colonization and occupation of Palestine while forging methods for collective becomings. She works with glass, text, archives, maps, plaster casts, and film, understanding each as an evocative object and emotional companion. Her projects are developed closely with archaeologists, anthropologists, sound designers, and glassblowers, as she believes collaboration is integral in the collective process towards liberation. The practice is situated within a decolonization space and functions through critical cartography, deep mapping, and critical analysis methodologies.

Srouji is a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture, and in 2016 she founded Hollow Forms, a glassblowing project that aims to reactivate the industry. She is currently City Design Tutor at the Royal College of Art.

2020 | 25min

Arabic with English subtitles

Contact us at info@darelnimer or 01-367 016 to reserve your seat as places are very limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

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