White Paper: Land, Law, and the ImaginaryAdelita Husni-Bey
Dec 20, 2016 to Jan 08, 2017
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
White Paper is an ongoing research project centered on investigating the relationship between legislation, notions of property, and agency vis-à-vis the right to housing under capitalism, focusing on three different countries: the Netherlands, Egypt, and Spain. Through a chaptered, traveling exhibition and an accompanying publication, it critically reflects on the erasure of the urban commons, privatization, and the lack of legal systems that protect tenants from speculation, while presenting collectivist alternatives, micro-utopias, and models for non-speculative cohabitation. Chapter one, The Land (2014) focused on the land rights of those affected by the mega urban development “Cairo 2050” through a workshop and subsequent film, produced in conjunction with the local artspace Beirut. Chapter two, The Law (2015), developed a legal document, the “Convention on the Use of Space” though a series of public drafting meetings throughout the Netherlands and supported by Casco, Office for Art & Design and Theory. Lawyers, housing rights activists, squatters, tenants associations, and the general public came together to debate what provisions a use-value right to housing would include. The “Convention on the Use of Space” will travel to Spain in the summer and autumn of 2016 in conjunction with the third chapter, The Imaginary. This last chapter, set to be developed in Madrid’s Móstoles neighborhood and hosted by CA2M, will focus on unearthing radical models of rethinking the urban commons already practiced in Spanish towns such as Marinaleda through an exhibition, publication and book launch event, stringing together this three-year project.
Adelita Husni-Bey is an artist and a researcher. Through workshops, seminars, writing, and exhibitions her work has focused on re-thinking radical pedagogical models within the framework of urban studies. She received her BA in fine arts from Chelsea College of Art and Design and her MA in urban cultures from Goldsmiths University. She has exhibited widely, most recently in Undisclosed Worlds, the Highline, New York (2015); Really Useful Knowledge, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2014); Utopia for Sale?, MAXXI Museum, Rome (2013); and Playing Truant Gasworks, London (2012). She is a former Whitney Independent Study Program Fellow (2012), and has lectured in the Cities Department at the London School of Economics, the Sandberg Institute in Rotterdam, and Parsons School of Design in New York. She is the recipient of numerous grant and awards, such as the European Cultural Foundation Grant (2014).
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