Reflecting on her experiences with refugees in Boden, North Sweden, Dr Hilal speaks of the passivity and agency of refugee lives and cultures as they navigate the manifestly European distinctions of the public and private space. How do refugees see themselves as political subjects who are in the position to demand and transform the societies they have become a part of? What stake do they have in these conversations? How does art open new and radical forms of transformative collectivity that focus on the multiplicity of cultures that refugees have? For Hilal, hosting and the extension of hospitality to strangers create a self-representational space where refugees can practice and shape their own agency.
Sandi Hilal is an architect, artist and educator whose practice is both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. She is the Co-Director of DAAR, Decolonizing Architecture Art Research, an architectural and art collective that she co-founded in 2007 with Alessandro Petti and Eyal Weizman, in Beit Sahour, Palestine. She is now Lise Meitner Visiting Professor at the Department of Architecture and Built Environment in Lund University.