Moving Together: Activism, Art and Education – A Week with Angela Davis

We have been invited to run a workshop during the weeklong program taking place from 12 – 17 May at various arts, cultural, educational and heritage institutions, and community centers in Amsterdam. Together with esteemed guest Professor Angela Y. Davis, as well as artists, scholars, activists and audience members, we will look into questions of citizenship, communal knowledge sharing, intergenerational activism, and relevant artistic practices.


The Arabic term “Tanaqush” (discussion) describes the interaction within mujaawarah. It stems from a root (a verb). The root, naqasha, refers to chiseling a stone, which usually means making it more beautiful. Discussion in a mujawarah is not about an idea or opinion as much as it is about those who are expressing ideas/opinions; about what happens to them and to relations among them. The purpose is to deepen the understanding of self and life, and to weave a fabric with whom and what is around.
During the workshop we wish to temporarily create a space where, through movement, discussion and stories, participants explore and experiment with the terms “hospitality” and “displacement”.  We consider the space to be temporary  because it produces stories that can fly to other places, nurturing them and being nurtured by them. By exploring terms we mean to redefine them. To give them meaning based on people’s experiences. We believe that co-authoring meanings is a natural ability, a responsibility, and a right.
We will visually form an articulated threshold; the spatial and symbolic reference where we envision conflict, exchange, imagination and inventions. The threshold can be designed, locked or permeable. It is a physical and a mental space where we identify the familiar and the unfamiliar and exercise our attitude toward ourselves and the others.
The participants are invited to live the space based on our understanding of the Arabic words Hayy (Neighborhood) and Ahaali (people-in-community). Both words are connected to Mujaawarah. Haay literally means alive; it is aliveness that characterises a neighbourhood and not just agreements upon rules. Ahaali refers to people connected to a geographical place. Hayy and Ahaali express the relationship springing among people from one to another, different from the basic relationship of citizens that is with official institutions.
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