Biographies of the participants and curators
Gautam Bhan holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and teaches at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) topics such as urban poverty, development, housing, planning theory and contemporary Indian politics. He is co-Principal Investigator of Re-framing Urban Inclusion, a three-year research project that explores new frameworks in thinking about practices and conceptions of more egalitarian cities in India. He is the co-author of Swept off the Map: Surviving Eviction and Resettlement in Delhi (Yoda Press 2008).
Ilana Feldman is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67 (Duke University Press, 2008) and In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (Duke University, 2010; co-edited with Miriam Ticktin). Her current research traces the Palestinian experience with humanitarianism in the years since 1948, exploring both how this aid apparatus has shaped Palestinian social and political life and how the Palestinian experience has influenced the broader post-war humanitarian regime.
Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti are both architects and researchers in urbanism, members of DAAR, an architectural office and an artistic residency program that combines conceptual speculations and architectural interventions. DAAR was awarded the Prince Claus Award for architecture and the Foundation for Arts Initiative Grant in 2010, was shortlisted for the Iakov Chernikhov Prize in the same year, and showed in various biennales and museums around the world (
). Alongside research and practice, Hilal and Petti are engaged in critical pedagogy. They are founding members of “Campus in Camps” an experimental educational program by Al Quds University hosted by the Phoenix Center in Dheisheh refugee camp Bethlehem
( campusincamps.ps ).
Elena Isayev is a Senior Lecturer of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter. She is a historian and archaeologist who uses the ancient Mediterranean as a way to explore questions about society, belonging and migration. She has worked with artists, architects, and refugees in Palestine in interdisciplinary projects. She is also the Principal Investigator on the project De-Placing Future Memory, with the AHRC Beyond Text scheme. Her current research is towards the publication of a monograph, Migration, Mobility, and Place, Relational Paradigms from Ancient Italy (forthcoming 2015).
Omar Nagati is a practicing architect and urban planner who currently lives in Cairo. Having studied at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the University of California Berkeley, Nagati adopts an interdisciplinary approach to urban history and design, and engages in a comparative analysis of the question of urban informality in developing countries. He teaches part-time Urban Design Studio at the MSA University in Giza and has recently cofounded CLUSTER, a new platform for critical urban research and design initiatives in downtown Cairo.
Pelin Tan is a sociologist and art historian. She received a PhD in art history from the Istanbul Technical University with a thesis on “Locality as a Discursive Concept in Recent Socially Engaged Practice.” She is currently associate professor and vice-dean of the Architecture Faculty at Mardin Artuklu University. She has contributed to numerous publications, amongst others The Ethics of Locality: Urban Commons and The Unconditional Hospitality and Threshold Architecture (dpr barcelona -2014) and Arazi (Critical Spatial Practice Serie- Sternberg Press 2015).