August 6, 2019 - Sharjah Architecture Triennial - Announcing first project selection alongside publications
e-flux Architecture
August 6, 2019
August 6, 2019

Sharjah Architecture Triennial

(1) Marina Tabassum, work in progress, video still, 2019. Courtesy of Marina Tabassum Architects. (2) Samaneh Moafi, Home Rebellion Workshop (Ramadan, 2019), Study for a ritual device. Photo: Hananeh Fattahi. (3) Palestinian protest in front of the Erez Crossing, against the ongoing siege over Gaza, September 4, 2018. Close up of a photograph by ActiveStills. From the project of Francesco Sebregondi and Jasbir K. Puar. (4) Nidhi Mahajan, A vahan being built in Mandvi, India, 2017. Courtesy of Nidhi Mahajan. (5) Chug Chug Geoglyphs, 2015. Courtesy of Atacama Desert Heritage Foundation. 

Announcing first project selection alongside publications
Rights of Future Generations
November 9, 2019–February 8, 2020

Opening Days: November 9–12

Sharjah Architecture Triennial
Various locations
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

The Sharjah Architecture Triennial opens this November as the first international platform for the architecture and urbanism of the Global South. Curated by Adrian Lahoud, the theme for the inaugural edition is Rights of Future Generations.

The theme is an invitation to rethink the climate crisis as a symptom of the eradication of alternative perspectives on what it means to live and to coexist with others. Such perspectives courageously struggle to survive everywhere we turn, indicating enduring sites of experimentation against extractive social orders. The inaugural Triennial will bring together some of these conditions, in order to imagine what is possible beyond the existing arrangement of things.

The Triennial is pleased to announce the first group of projects, which includes collaborations among architects, artists, engineers, activists, performers, choreographers, scientists, musicians, and anthropologists. A full list will be released in September 2019.

Select projects 
Visual artist Marwa Arsanios is continuing her work on the relation between feminism, land rights, and ecological activism. She is working with ecofeminist groups that practice communal farming, such as the Kurdish autonomous women’s movement in Northern Syria, Grupo Semillas in Tolima, Colombia, and DESMI in Chiapas, Mexico. Focusing on the localised knowledge of the land, Arsanios calls into question longstanding associations of womanhood and nature in terms of fertility and nation-building.

Europeans saw the desert as a failed forest. Yet, Bedouin societies thrived for centuries through their extensive knowledge of plants that flourish in arid environments. Artist duo Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual) reimagine the role of desert plants, challenging the idea of the desert as a bare landscape. Working with engineering practice AKT II, they are prototyping a new model of non-irrigated urban gardens for Sharjah and other cities in arid environments.

Wooden sailing vessels, or dhows, have crossed the Indian Ocean for centuries creating a geography of trade that connects India, Iran, the Gulf coast, and East Africa. The dhows predate European imperialism, and continue to thrive by operating in the gaps of global shipping routes. Anthropologist Nidhi Mahajan charts these networks, examining relations of kinship, domesticity, patronage, and debt that are formed through and on the dhows.

The Ganges Delta is a place dominated by fluidity. At the confluence of the Padma, Jamuna, and Meghna rivers, the line between water and land is indistinguishable due to tidal dominance. Water inflates during the monsoon, swallowing the banks and everything on it. This condition has produced a peculiar form of intergenerational inhabitation and land title, where the collective memory of older generations inform descendants about their possessions submerged in water. Marina Tabassum and associates chart the relationships of dry and wet culture, oral history and land title that define this unsettled landscape.

Read about other projects and participants on the Triennial's website

Ngurrara Canvas II
The Triennial announces the loan of the Ngurrara Canvas IIonly the second time it is exhibited outside Australia. The Canvas is a 10 x 8 m painting that was produced in 1997 by a group of 40 artist-claimants in support of their native title claim over vast stretches of the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia. It is the largest and one of the few examples of painting used as proof of Aboriginal land tenure and native title. The Canvas embodies intergenerational Aboriginal relationships to country through its depiction of the unifying feature of jilathe permanent waterholes that underpin law and ceremony for the Ngurrara people.

Artists: Manmarriya Daisy Andrews, Munangu Huey Bent, Ngarta Jinny Bent, Waninya Biddy Bonney, Nyuju Stumpy Brown, Pajiman Warford Budgieman, Jukuna Mona Chuguna, Raraj David Chuguna, Tapiri Peter Clancy, Jijijar Molly Dededar, Purlta Maryanne Downs, Kurtiji Peter Goodijie, Kuji Rosie Goodjie, Yirrpura Jinny James, Nyangarni Penny K-Lyon, Luurn Willy Kew, Kapi Lucy Kubby, Monday Kunga Kunga, Milyinti Dorothy May, Ngarralja Tommy May, Murungkurr Terry Murray, Mawukura Jimmy Nerrimah, Ngurnta Amy Nuggett, Japarti Joseph Nuggett, Nanjarn Charlie Nunjun, Yukarla Hitler Pamba, Parlun Harry Bullen, Kurnti Jimmy Pike, Killer Pindan, Miltja Thursday Pindan, Pulikarti Honey Bulagardie, Nada Rawlins, Ngumumpa Walter Rose, Kulyukulyu Trixie Shaw, Pijaji Peter Skipper, Jukuja Dolly Snell, Ngirlpirr Spider Snell, Mayapu Elsie Thomas, George Tuckerbox, Wajinya Paji Honeychild Yankarr

Ngurrara Canvas II will be on show in Sharjah alongside newly commissioned work on the legal history of the native title hearing.

The Triennial is introducing a collaborative editorial model that, through a sequence of publications both online and in print, challenges the forms of institutional publishing.

Rights of Future Generations: Conditions is a series of new essays authored by Triennial participants. Conditions explores sites of environmental struggle and social experimentation from across the Global South—both anticipating and complementing the exhibition. The essays will be published online between August and November 2019 by a group of leading, independent media platforms: Africa is a Country, Ajam Media Collective, ArtReview, e-flux Architecture, Jadaliyya, and Mada Masr. A feed of the series will be available on the Triennial's website.

Conditions will also be a book, to be published in November 2019 for the Triennial's opening. A second volume, Rights of Future Generations: Propositions, will be published in spring 2020 and feature writings by invited theorists and activists, alongside documentation of the exhibition. The two volumes are designed by Morcos Key, and will be available in separate English and Arabic editions.


For further information please contact:
Pelham Communications: T +44 (0) 20 89693959 / @pelhamcomms
Sophie Campos: sophie [​at​]
Eleanor Gibson: eleanor [​at​]  

Sharjah Architecture Triennial
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