What would a railway say, if it were to speak, about our journey through the century to the here and now? In the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire, with the aid of the German Empire and its banks, embarked on two large-scale projects that would remain unfinished in the aftermath of the First World War: A railway network meant to connect Berlin with Baghdad, and a second, the Hijaz Railway, linking Damascus with Mecca and running lines to Jerusalem and Alexandria. Visual artists, writers, sociologists, anthropologists, and thinkers are invited to operate as mediators who will assist the railway to speak from its own perspective of no more than twenty-five centimeters above the ground. They will reveal unexplored—as real as improbable—potentialities of the railway, significances to and effects on the historical, political, social, and cultural realities within and beyond the then Ottoman ruled territories.
With Adel Abidin, Yazid Anani, Sinan Antoon & Priya Basil, Boris Buden, Zeynep Çelik, Gülnur Ekşi, Fehras Publishing Practices, Violet Grigoryan, Hamid Ismailov, Karrabing Film Collective, Sair Sinan Kestelli, Shahram Khosravi, Samuel Merrill, Morad Montazami, Musa paradisiaca, Shahana Rajani & Zahra Malkani, Muhannad Shono, Rania Stephan, Salim Tamari
Curated by Adania Shibli