This Land’s Unknown
Collective exhibition
Curator: Nora Akawi

Part of 2019-1969: Radical Imaginaries for Architecture in the Arab Mashriq and Maghreb

The project is a search for representations of Arab spatial and architectural imaginaries born out of the desire to unhinge oppressive structures of their time. Breaking with history as we know it, they are a nod to politicized futurisms, as designs of fictions for self-liberation from identities assigned by the perpetual patriarchal colonial gaze. Bringing fantasies of decoloniality, acracy, and ecofeminism, they present a fragment of the layered Arab spatial fictions created today for the shattering of any one defining, repressive identity construct. Al majhoola min al-ard is understood primarily as the ‘uncharted land’, but also, it is ‘she who has been vanished from the Earth’. Al-majhoola (fem.), in addition to being the erased, forgotten, discarded, or drowned, she is also the unknown, unidentifiable, ungraspable, or untraceable; a specter simultaneously of the past, and of the future. With pasts robbed, and futures made unimaginable, the project gathers architects and artists whose work represents the unhinging of the structures through which this violence is exercised, and that together draw a reconsidered record of these pasts, and experiment with a multiform imagination of the future.

Nora Akawi


Architects & artists

Rand Abdul Jabbar , Iraq
AAU Anastas
, Palestine
Nidhal Chamekh, Tunisie
Design Earth, USA
f-architecture, USA
Zaha Hadid, Iraq-UK
Susan Hefuna, Germany-Egypt
MTL Collective, USA
Driss Ouadahi, Algeria
Sigil Collective, Syria-USA
Ala Younis, Kuweit