Campus in Camps stems from the recognition that refugee camps in the West Bank are in a process of a social and spatial transformation. Despite adverse political and social conditions Palestinian refugee camps have developed a relatively autonomous and independent social and political space: no longer a simple recipient of humanitarian intervention but rather as an active political subject. This initiative aims at transgressing, without eliminating, the distinction between camp and city, refugee and citizen, center and periphery, theory and practice, teacher and student.
Campus in Camps explores and produces new forms of representation of camps and refugees beyond the static and traditional symbols of victimization, passivity and poverty, initiated by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.
Alessandro Petti is an architect, urbanist, and researcher based in Bethlehem. Petti is co-founder of The Decolonizing Architecture Institute (DAAR), with Sandi Hilal and Eyal Weizman, and which explores the problems and potentiality associated with re-use, reinhabitation and subversion of colonial structures. He writes and lectures extensively on emerging spatial order dictated by paradigms of security and control, and has curated different research projects on the contemporary urban condition.
Sandi Hilal is an architect based in Bethlehem. She is consultant with the UNRWA on the camp improvement program and visiting professor at Al-Quds/Bard University in Abu Dis-Jerusalem. She is a founder member of The Decolonizing Architecture Institute (DAAR), established in 2007 with Alessandro Petti and Eyal Weizman. Her writing and projects have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Il Manifesto, Al Ayyam, Al- Quds, Art Forum, and Archis, among other places.