Halaqat - Exploring cultural links between Europe and the Arab world
'We are here': As part of the Halaqat project, artist Emily Jacir presents her installation on the façade of Bozar, recalling the situation of the Palestinian refugee community.
Bozar’s façade displays a huge sign. Its blue is the same colour as the road signs in Brussels that indicate where you are, which way to go, and the distance. It is also the same blue as the EU flag. A sentence written in Arabic states “We are here”.
Through this deceptively simple statement, artist Emily Jacir challenges the notion of two distinctly different spaces constituting a “Europe” and an “Arab world”. On her site visit to Brussels, she discovered that she was able to navigate the entire city in Arabic. The art centre that she created in Bethlehem is registered as an AISBL here in Brussels 3 years ago, yet no bank will open an account for them. The question of who has access to control culture is brought to the fore.
As the war in Ukraine continues and Bozar flies its flag in solidarity, Emily Jacir reminds us that the Palestinian refugee community, one of the largest and longest standing in the world, is still waiting to return home.
The European project Halaqat is implemented by the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Bozar - Centre for Fine Arts Brussels. Halaqat is co-funded by the European Commission (under the designation: EU-LAS CULTURE), the Goethe-Institut and Bozar.