The notion of “return” has defined the diasporic and extraterritorial nature of Palestinian politics and cultural life since the Nakba in 1947-8. Often articulated in the “suspended politics” of political theology it has gradually been blurred in the futile limbo of negotiations.

Laboratories of Returns it is simultaneously a collection of ideas for an effective return of Palestinian refugees and more importantly it is a playground around which discussions about different forms of returns can take place. The project add to the legalistic approach to the right of return a projective one which proposes a series of images, maps, drawings, photographs, texts and analysis  aiming to open the imagination towards different forms in which an actual return could take place.

Exploring forms of return of Palestinian refugees means also exploring ways in which the figure of the refugee and its associated spatial regime of dislocation both reshape the political space of the present and force us to image a new political space yet to come. It is in this space between the sites of dislocation and that of destruction that a future extraterritorial policy could take shape.

Laboratories of Returns is a project by the architectural studio and residency by Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, Eyal Weizman

Returns Projects: Ahmad Barclay, Marcella Rafaniello, Maria Rocco, Mahdi Sabbagh, Bert Ruelens, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik

Design installation: Alessandra Gola, Luisa Cerlini

Translation: Miri Tagger
Editing: Amy Asher