Home Workspace Program presents Traction 2: Workshopping the Riwaq Biennial, taking place from November 17 – 28, 2014 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut.

Traction 2: Workshopping the Riwaq Biennial

November 17-28, 2014 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut

Traction 2 doubles as the 5th Riwaq Biennial’s (RB5) contribution to Home Workspace Program (HWP) 2014-15 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut. As a whole, it will reflect all the key components of RB5. Traction 2 begins with an introduction to the biennial program and the Riwaq agenda, and features extensive tours of sites that were pivotal to the Palestinian experience in and around Beirut. In an exploration of HWP and the RB5 educational program NADI, Traction 2 also addresses the promises and pitfalls of informal art education over recent decades. Finally, the workshop ends with a transregional investigation of the institutional memory of contemporary art since the 1990s.

Traction 2 forms the second part of the RB5 public program, Traction, which is structured as a long series of responses to institutions and events throughout Palestine and its immediate neighborhood. It aims to push the biennial to be thinking “through” the structures of contemporary art, as opposed to thinking “about” or “against” them.

In this spirit of chronic infiltrations and slow tenacity, RB5 will span a full two years, which may allow this brief visit to Lebanon to become a lasting contribution to a longer, accumulative conversation.

Traction 2 is not only an infiltration of HWP in Beirut, where RB artistic director Khalil Rabah is one of the year’s resident professors, but an opportunity to enrich and indeed infiltrate the RB5 agenda in and of itself.

The first week of the workshop is open to the public – please note that some events have limited capacity and require registration.

The second week is open to HWP enrolled participants only.


Public and by registration | to register, email @?subject=Registration">@


8 – 10 pm | public: Introduction to Riwaq and to Riwaq Biennial 5 with Khalil Rabah (artistic director, RB5), Tirdad Zolghadr (curator, RB5), Suad Amiry (founder, Riwaq), and Khaldoun Bshara (co-director, Riwaq)


10 am – 1 pm | by registration: Night Vision | workshop with Riwaq senior members Khaldun Bshara, Suad Amiry, Ruba Salim, Micheal Salameh, Lana Judeh, Renad Shqerat, and Shatha Safi

3 – 6 pm | by registration: RB5 Ingredients | an in-depth workshop of the 5th Riwaq Biennial


10 am – 7 pm | Tour of institutional landmarks pivotal to the Palestinian Lebanese experience with Manal Khader, Zouheir Rahhal, Mahmoud Soueid, and Amira Al Solh


2 – 5 pm | by registration: Classrooms and Capital | workshop exploring informal education post 1990s, with Suhail Malik, Christine Tohme, and Tirdad Zolghadr

8 – 10 pm | public: Vindicating Didacticism | lecture with Suhail Malik on art education of formal and informal, sentimental and unsentimental varieties


10 am – 1 pm | by registration: 1990+ | workshop with Kirsten Scheid

8 – 10 pm | public: It’s the Thought That Counts | roundtable with Vasif Kortun, Khalil Rabah, Suha Shoman, Christine Tohme, William Wells, and Akram Zaatari; moderated by Tirdad Zolghadr

Traction 2 is an event produced and organized by Home Workspace Program, Ashkal Alwan, in Lebanon, and the 5th Riwaq Biennial in Palestine.

Read more about Riwaq Biennale