Deserts Are Not Empty
Interview: Space War - An Investigation Into Kuwait’s Hinterland
Columbia University Press

Colonial and imperial powers have often portrayed arid lands as “empty” spaces ready to be occupied, exploited, extracted, and polluted. Despite the undeniable presence of human and nonhuman lives and forces in desert territories, the “regime of emptiness” has thus inhabited, and is still inhabiting, many imaginaries. Deserts Are Not Empty challenges this colonial tendency, questions its roots and ramifications, and remaps the representations, theories, histories, and stories of arid lands—which comprise approximately one-third of the Earth’s land surface. The volume brings together poems in original languages, conversations with collectives, and essays by scholars and professionals from the fields of architecture, architectural history and theory, curatorial studies, comparative literature, film studies, landscape architecture, and photography. These different approaches and diverse voices draw on a framework of decoloniality to unsettle and unlearn the desert, opening up possibilities to see, think, imagine it otherwise.

Samia Henni

Saphiya Abu Al-Maati, Menna Agha, Asaiel Al Saeed, Aseel AlYaqoub, Yousef Awaad Hussein, Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, Danika Cooper, Brahim El Guabli, Timothy Hyde, Jill Jarvis, Bongani Kona, Dalal Musaed Alsayer, Observatoire des armements, Francisco E. Robles, Paulo Tavares, Alla Vronskaya, and XqSu.

Wesbite: www.arch.columbia.edu/books/catalog/998-deserts-are-not-empty

Pfeil Magazine 15 - Bread
He Who Makes My Bread Is Not My Enemy
Montez Press

From its seeds to its crumbs, this issue focuses on the meaning of bread. One of the oldest hu- man-made staples, rooted in the dawn of agriculture and the settling of land, its ingredients both unite and divide, create winners and losers. We deal with madness and explosives, coincidences and intoxication, distribution and possession – and cake.

Within the format of a magazine, each page of Pfeil represents the floor, walls, or ceiling which together create an imagined room displaying a printed exhibition. Each issue is dedicated to a specific word, with artists invited and given space to work on and with this term, and to construct or deconstruct the architecture around it. Combined, the contributions transform into an organic display surrounding the leitmotif.

Anja Dietmann, Julia Lerch Zajączkowska

Adnan Softić, Alice Creischer, Aseel AlYaqoub, Beat Bächi, Christian Parenti, Clara Alisch, Julien Fargetton, Lauralee Pope, Lexie Smith, Lila de Magalhaes, Lucia Graf, Maia Schall, Małgorzata Fonfria-Pereda, Mirna Bamieh, Mladen Stilinović, Nina Beier, Nina Kuttler, Peter Wächtler, Rustum Kozain, Schwester Ruth, Vincent Ramos.

Wesbite: www.montezpress.com/catalogue/pfeil/bread/

Pfeil Magazine 14 - Nature
Mimic Men
Montez Press

Deriving from the Old French nature (being, principle of life; character, essence), in turn stemming from the Latin word natura (course of things; natural character, constitution, quality; the universe), this issue revisits the term Nature once again, with all its direct and indirect meanings. In times of global warming and the urgent necessity for active change, we deal with the effects of cultural mimicry, the language of trees, artificial yolk dye, how natural resources can change in their worth and meaning, and question how the theory of evolution would have manifested under a female lens in the 19th century.

Anja Dietmann

Aseel AlYaqoub, Birte Brechlin, Christopher Weickenmeier, Constance DeJong, David Fletcher, David Reiber Otálora, Denise Bertschi, Emmett Walsh, Jocelyn Saidenberg, Katherine Lee, Katie Holten, Kinke Kooi, Leticia Ybarra Pasch, Marina Pinsky, Nadia Christidi, Nina Kuttler, Nora Schultz, Patricia Valencia, Rachel Ćosić, Suné Woods, Till Krause, Volker Renner, Zane Fischer, Zlatko Ćosić.

Website: www.montezpress.com/catalogue/pfeil/nature/

Space Wars
Exhibition Catalogue
National Council of Culture, Arts & Letters

The Space Wars publication includes research, proposals, interviews and narratives from the project’s 20+ multidisciplinary contributors. Divided into four sections, The Gulf War, Cultural Production, Planning and Nature, the book provides an alternative reading that includes the desert as only part of the hinterland’s definition, rather than simply characterizing the landscape as a natural and geographic condition.

Aseel AlYaqoub, Saphiya Abu Al-Maati, Asaiel Al Saeed, Yousef Awaad

Contributors and Collaborators:
Abdullah AlGhunaim, Atlas of Places, Ayesha Kamal Khan, Aiysha Alsane, Bab.nimnim, Dani Ploeger, David Green, Faysal Tabbarah, Formless Finder, Jawad Altabtabai, LCLA Office, Abdulaziz AlJassim, Mohammed Alkouh, Maees Hadi, Nada Al Qallaf, Post Petroleum Society, Reem Alissa, Dana Alhasan, Samia Henni, Sara Alajmi, Sara Al-Ateeqi, Sijal Collective, Studio Toggle, The Open Workshop

Website: www.kwtpavilion.com

Arabian Humanities: International Journal of Archaeology and Social Sciences in the Arabian Peninsula
The Face Mask: A desperate measure
French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences

Arabian Humanities is a journal published by the French Center for Archeology and Social Sciences (CEFAS), renamed the French Center for Research on the Arabian Peninsula (CEFREPA) in 2021. Arabian Humanities is a peer-reviewed, multilingual journal (articles edited and published in French, English and Arabic), which covers, on a biannual basis, all areas of the human sciences ranging from prehistory to present-day societies. Built around a thematic file, each issue includes varia and book reviews on the most recent publications on the Arabian Peninsula and appearing in European and Arabic languages.

Website: www.journals.openedition.org/cy/5937

Desert Cast
Imitation, Eclecticism and Ornamentation: Tracing Kuwait’s Obsession with Western Classical Elements
Exhibition Publication Contributor

1971- Design Space presented Desert Cast - Towards an Identity by the Kuwait-based designers Jassim AlNashmi, Kawther AlSaffar and Ricardas Blazukas. Hybridising motifs from the past and present, the series contributed to the development of local design identity through its re-application of regional and borrowed elements. The publication documents the fabrication process of the project and its progression with the collaboration, the newly commissioned pieces, the presentation at 1971- Design Space along with essays by experts from the region in relation to the topic of identifying the regional architectural design identity.

Jassim AlNashmi, Kawthar AlSaffar, Ricardas Blazukas

Website: www.1971design.ae/en/publications/

ⓒ Aseel AlYaqoub, 2022