Yazan Khalili

Palestinian visual artist and architect Yazan Khalili has been awarded the 2019 AFIELD fellowship for Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (KSCC).

Yazan has worked in different positions in many cultural institutions in Palestine and elsewhere. Since 2015, he is the team leader at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (KSCC)1, where he has been working on challenging and changing the role of the cultural institutions, working from within the institutional structure to form an affirmative critique that turns it to become a progressive infrastructure for cultural producers.

The KSCC is a non-profit organization, established in Ramallah in 1996, dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Palestine. Yazan has been working on developing ways to reduce the dependency on funding and finding other resources to support the center’s existence and programs. For instance, most of the initiatives are not based on any budgets as they aim to make use of the available resources.

His project aims to transform the institution into a cultural tool that can be used, adjusted, and challenged by the community it benefits and to turn any institution into a grassroot structure that can be part of the knowledge production and political movements. The grant will be used to develop the collective pot, to scale it up in terms of users and groups, and to test the collaborative model2.

Yazan Khalili (Syria, 1981) is a visual artist and architect who works in and out of Palestine. He holds a degree in Architecture from Birzeit University, Palestine (2003), a master’s from the Center for Research Architecture at Goldsmith’s College, University of London (2010) and a MFA from Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam. Khalili completed residencies at Delfina Foundation (2008) and National Film School of Denmark (2006).
His work explores the effect of geographical distance on the interpretation of territory, its ability to amplify or arrest the political and sentimental attachments, frames landscapes, institutions, as well as social and technological phenomena as politicized entities. He is interested in structures, institutional along with other, how those are built, how they perform, critiquing funding and the foundations of a cultural institution under settler colonialism.

Cover and top image: Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (KSCC)

1. Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (KSCC)
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2. Strategic plan for Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center (KSCC)
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