Streetschool (prototype)

with AbdulKader Mekkawi, Mahmoud Abu Lokmeh, ‘Abu Khodr’ & Tarek Majzoub — special thanks to Mohamad Majzoub & Tala Salman

This is the first proposal for streetschool a project initiated by The Khan: The Arab Association for Prototyping Cultural Practices run by Raafat Majzoub. Each iteration of streetschool invites a group of people to learn from, and produces a public landscape to host this learning process.

For How to Reappear: Through the Quivering Leaves of Independent Publishing curated by Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis (Kayfa-ta) at Beirut Art Center, Majzoub situates the proposal [document] as a publication format in and of itself. The prototype on display speculates the political necessity for mutual aid and learning on the street, and proposes the possibility to publish alternative social and economic frameworks to cut through an existing ecosystem of failed resource management (scarce seed/excess waste). 

In response to the perpetual factor of resource scarcity in independent cultural production that mainly impacts the producers themselves as production costs are prioritized over labor costs, the artist shared the exhibition fees equally among his collaborators, allocating no money for materials. Through the street know-how and professional skills of the team, the prototype was created “for free” as all materials were scavenged or donated.   

Through several layers of public proposals embedded in it and addressing both formal and informal stakeholders shaping the public realm, this prototype transforms the exhibition space into an arena for practice-based discussions of the possibilities of creating new publics through the infrastructure of independent cultural production. 

Everything—in your love—becomes easy showing from the mezzanine is a video document revealing the process of making this streetschool.

Everything—in your love—becomes easy (video)

with AbdulKader Mekkawi, Mahmoud Abu Lokmeh, ‘Abu Khodr’ & Tarek Majzoub — special thanks to Ruba Saleh

While the first prototype of streetschool is not yet meant to be a school on the street at this stage—and rests for inspection and testing at BAC—the process of its creation was a site of mutual learning where the artist and collaborators had to suspend disbelief in each other’s processes without necessarily knowing the end result of the collective work. It demonstrates the social, emotional and economic ties that could be generated through meeting, imagining, planning and building together.         

The title of this video is a quote from a Whatsapp voice note (original Arabic: كل شي بحبك بهون ) sent to the artist by ‘Abu Khodr’, one of the collaborators on the streetschool  prototype as part of a negotiation of the fairness of equal compensation to all members of the team.

This video document dwells on the stimulating poetics in the fringes and interstices of group work, and the emotional labor that sustains independent projects. It highlights the generation of value from social interaction and the power of mutual aid in the production of alternative landscapes where new cultural practices can be prototyped, tested and adopted.

 
 
 

Title ········· Streetschool

Medium ········· Prototype/Installation

Year ······ 2019

Context ······· Commissioned for HOW TO REAPPEAR at Beirut Art Center

 

 

Title ········· Everything—in your love—becomes easy

Medium ········· Video (Loop, 33'43")

Year ······ 2019

Context ······· Commissioned for HOW TO REAPPEAR at Beirut Art Center