Waiting (for Godot): Temporalities of Control and of Migration


Image: Waiting by Maya Sanbar, 2015.

18 June: 2 – 6 pm
The Ditch, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

In ‘How long can waiting work?’ the late Edward Said likens Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ to the Palestinian condition. It is ‘about waiting, about unending expectation … as Arabs now, we are in fact waiting for all sorts of things to happen with very little certainty as to what they are, how they will affect us, and what will come after.’

This Learning Lab brought together several artists who creatively document a range of enforced waiting conditions for refugees and migrants across the globe.

Maya Sanbar’s 3-screen film installation, titled ‘Waiting’, steadily observes Palestinian migrants trapped in a no-man’s land, on the Gaza/Egypt border;

Matthias Kispert’s experimental video essay ’No More Beyond’ is located in Melilla, the Spanish enclave in Morocco surrounded by a boundary of 6.8 miles of heavily patrolled triple wire fence. The remains of a refugee community on the Tunisian/Libyan border is filmed by Kimbal Bumstead in ‘The Horizon is Far Away’, together with his participatory photography project, ‘Waiting for a New Life‘ with Yezidi (Iraqi) refugees in an unofficial refugee camp in Batman, Eastern Turkey.

Simon Hipkins, Agata Skowronek and Dave McCauley’s ‘The Circle’ weaves film, photography and sound design to witness the enduring legacy of violence in Iraq, mediated through stories of internally displaced people.

Juan delGado’s installation ‘Terminal Sur’ re-invokes the voices of an invisible community in the city of Bogotá – internally displaced from the region of Choco, Colombia. Emily Churchill Zaara curates and translates several art/activist projects chronicling everyday perspectives from within and without the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

Learning Labs form part of the Out of Place Action-Research Platform (a project led by Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab, in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London and FilmAid).