21 & 22 March 2024, Kunsthal Gent

Initiated by Annelys de Vet and Sulaiman Saleh

Against the backdrop of the ongoing destruction of Palestinian lives, culture and heritage, this symposium aims to explore participative design approaches to navigate relationships between decolonisation, imagination and solidarity. How can we foster meaningful engagement with the Palestinian struggle through artistic projects and critical infrastructures?

The gathering focuses on artist-run solidarity organisations and their work in nurturing models of commoning; how can such platforms operate more meaningfully by learning from their relationships, ecologies, and imagination from an organisational perspective? What are sustainable and equitable models in the face of ongoing occupation? 

These questions are rooted in the continuous challenges we face with the Disarming Design project and the aim to foster more collective structures. With this symposium we provide a generative space for dialogue and collaboration to exchange ideas among participants committed to promoting cultural resilience and innovation in the Palestinian context. Collectively, we will investigate how design can address pressing issues surrounding the preservation and revitalisation of heritage and justice.


  • Wassila Abboud
  • Dr. Samer Abdelnour  
  • Feras Abo Dabboseh (Lagrangepoints)
  • Dr. Pascal Gielen
  • Ibrahim Muhthadi
  • Sulaiman Saleh
  • Celine Semaan (SLowfactory)
  • Annelys de Vet
  • Danielle Van Zuijlen 


Day 1 - 21 March

  • 10:00  Walk-in with Palestinian coffee
  • 10:15  Introduction by Annelys de Vet
  • 10:30  Keynote Samer Abdelnour on economic infrastructures underpinning violence + Q&A
  • 11:30  Break
  • 11:45  Keynote Pascal Gielen on the art of civil action, trust and commoning + Q&A
  • 12:45  Lunch
  • 13:45  Presentation Celine Semaan on her work for Slow Factory (via zoom)
  • 14:30  Round table discussion: Disarming Design from Palestine; locating the real challenges by Annelys de Vet, Sulaiman Saleh, Natalija Gucheva and Thomas De Schepper moderated by Samer Abdelnour
  • 15:15  Break
  • 15:30  Break-out session / workshop on organisational solidarities 
  • 16:30  Sharing results
  • 17:00  End

Day 2 - 22 March

  • 13:30  Welcome & walk-in
  • 13:45  Introduction by Annelys de Vet
  • 14:00  Presentation Danielle van Zuijlen on collaborative art practices with Kunsthal Gent
  • 14:20  Presentation by Feras Abo Dabboseh on developing Lagrangepoints Brussel 
  • 14:40  Presentation by Chris Rotsaert on developing Manoeuvre Gent
  • 15:00  Conversation with Ibrahim Muhthadi  about Gaza, and surviving through crafts and design moderated (via zoom) by Sulaiman Saleh & Annelys de Vet
  • 15:30  Break
  • 15:45  Learning to unlearn session by Sulaiman Saleh
  • 16:30  Summary and reflection by Wassila Abboud

Day 2 - 22 March - evening programme ‘Learning to unlearn’

  • 19:00  Conversational pop-up shop with Sulaiman Saleh & Annelys de Vet (ongoing)
  • 20:00  Unlearning Statements with, amongst others, Wassila Aboud, Samer Abdelnour, Shaheen Khalil, Feras Abo Dabboseh, Ahmed Hawwas



Date & time: Thursday 21 March (10am-5pm), Friday 22 March (1pm–9pm)

Location: Kunsthal Gent