SOAS University of London

London Middle East Institute

Countless Palestinian Futures

Danah Abdulla and Sarona Abuaker

Date: 1 February 2022Time: 5:30 PM

Finishes: 1 February 2022Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

Registration

Abstract

Conversations around Palestine are often framed either in historical or present terms. But what and where are the tools that help us think through what a return to Palestine could be? This talk will discuss the process of developing Countless Palestinian Futures, a discussion based game developed jointly between Danah Abdulla and Sarona Abuaker.

The aim of Countless Palestinian Futures is to stimulate the imagination by helping people develop tangible outcomes and ideas around Palestinian futures. Questions are framed around near, medium and long term futures that spark conversations and challenges players to consider Palestinian futures. The game features over 60 different questions grouped under six themes and is designed to be played with 3-6 players or as a conversation prompt between two people.

The talk will discuss the role of imagination as a tool to build ideas of liberation, to cultivate alliances and material developments between the very people who are systematically denied their return. The game humbly offers possible ways of orienting liberation not as a ‘given practice or discourse’, but rather as something that should be explored beyond the limits presented in resolutions set out by global governance institutions.

About the speakers

Danah Abdulla is a Palestinian-Canadian designer, educator and researcher interested in new narratives and practices in design that push the disciplinary boundaries and definitions of the discipline. She is Programme Director of Graphic Design at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts (University of the Arts London). She has previously held positions at Brunel University London and London College of Communication (University of the Arts London). Danah obtained her Ph.D. in Design from Goldsmiths, University of London and is a founding member of the Decolonising Design platform. In 2010, she founded Kalimat Magazine, an independent, nonprofit publication about Arab thought and culture. Her research focuses on decolonising design, possibilities of design education, design culture(s), the politics of design, publishing, and social design.

Sarona Abuaker is a poet, artist, and educational outreach worker. She graduated with a Masters in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her poems have been published in Berfrois, MAP Magazine, the 87press’ Digital Poetics series, and Ludd Gang. Her essay 'Suture Fragmentations - A Note on Return was published by KOHL: A Journal for Body and Gender Research in their Queer Feminisms Issue in December 2020. In 2021, Sarona took part in Notes on Radical Inclusivity, Diaspora, and Poetry, a roundtable discussion and online poetry showcase co-curated by the87press and Camden Art Centre. Sarona’s debut poetry collection, Why so few women on the street at night, was published by the 87Press in 2021. The collection is a queer phenomenology of collective Palestinian futurisms and memory building, utilising mixed media such as visual cultures, essays and poems, to approach territories as different as Turtle Island, Brockley and Palestine.

Registration

This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Dina Matar (SOAS) and Narguess Farzad (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute and the Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS

Contact email: smei@soas.ac.uk