Since May 2011 we have been researching, together with Khalid Mezaina and Karima al Shomely, how shopping centres - from Arab souks to British street markets, from Dubai Mall to Westfield London Shopping Centre - serve as alternative communal spaces and critical points of exchange.
It's part of a new project called Feast and we've been engaging
with shoppers and shopkeepers to collect personal narratives and to
document micro-communities and invisible 'networks' that exist in
the mall. These narratives will be re-imagined as short animations
or illustrations and used as the conceptual design for a series of
unusual, yet practical 'products'.
Like the narratives that inspired them, each of these newly-designed products will complement each other; and together, set the stage for a communal feast: a table, chairs, cutlery, food. The resultant exhibition will feature an installation of the innovative products, video documentation of the feast with Shopopolis' participants, and short animations of the stories that inspired the products in The Village's main display window at Westfield London.
Feast is part of Shopopolis, an initiative by the Delfina Foundation that explores the notion of shopping centres as social spaces through reciprocal residencies and workshops in the UAE and the UK.
Shopopolis is produced by the Delfina Foundation's artist-in-residence programme for Shubbak: A window on Arab Culture, with the support of the Emirates Foundation, Westfield London, British Council, and Tashkeel.