Questioning the world around us is not an easy task. Let alone when our surroundings carry the scars of deep historical wounds, such as fascism and colonialism.

Placeless Academy

For the creators of The Placeless Academy, this is nevertheless a necessary task, which can be addressed through a collaborative critical thinking process. A platform bringing together artists and architects from diverse geographic and thematic backgrounds, The Placeless Academy seeks to confront issues related to the legacy of modern architecture and art in the MENA region and beyond.

Born through the partnership of three organisations -Tajarrod Architecture and Art Foundation from Libya, MAMMA from Morocco, and Philomena+ from Austria- The Placeless Academy works to foster a collective reflection on the complex heritage of colonial and fascist architecture.

“Our first goal was to create an online platform for international cross-cultural dialogue, encouraging younger generations to explore their own contexts critically and creatively,” explains 27-year-old architect Sarri Elfaitouri who established Tajarood back in 2018.

“We wanted people to confront their opinions on the architecture and art they inherited: should they destroy it? Reuse it while forgetting its history? Or reuse it while considering the fascist or colonialist value attached to it?” Sarri continues, acknowledging the deep complexities of dealing with architectural heritage.

Despite the challenges of integrating diverse cultures into the project, the participants’ varied perspectives enriched the research. “Ultimately, we want to expand The Placeless Academy beyond its current borders,” explains Sarri, who envisions an official online platform showcasing resources like workshop lectures and research archives, accessible to both participants and the public.

“The ultimate goal is to foster an ever-growing international network of cultural exchange and architectural dialogue.”

As The Placeless Academy prepares for its upcoming exhibition in October 2023, Sarri and the team are eager looking ahead, determined to promote collaborative artistry and critical research for generations to come.

“Think critically, create passionately, and collaborate fearlessly.”
As part of the EU-funded All-Around Culture programme, Thoulathy initiates and supports collaborations of cultural organisations between countries from the ‘South’ and the ‘North’.
Through mentoring and peer support, the project seeks to facilitate partnerships and knowledge exchange, increase competencies in knowledge transfer and intercultural dialogue, and support the mobility of cultural managers and programmers within the Arab region and globally.

TANDEM Media Awards

EU Neighbours South is launching the 2nd edition of the TANDEM Media Awards, a regional media contest, funded by the European Union (EU). The competition is based on the concept of collaborations between pairs. The theme of TANDEM Media Awards is culture, an area in which the EU is active through different types of support and contributions.