Saja Amro

residency, NWNM

Labor of Love, Imagine Liberation

“Unless we have the space to imagine and a vision of what it means fully to realize our humanity, all the protests and demonstrations in the world won’t bring about our liberation.” Robin D. G. Kelley

Envisioning liberation through our inherited traditions is a powerful act of resistance amidst oppression.

Saja Amro, co-founder of Common Ground, will delve into the timeless ritual of preparing a traditional Palestinian dish—Rolled Vine Leaves, or ‘ورق عنب’. This labor-intensive and contemplative process serves as a space for mourning, introspection, and communal bonding. Through communal cooking sessions organized with the local community in Ghent, Saja aims to explore how this ritual acts as a portal to cherish intergenerational connectedness and individual experiences shared within the community, She works to investigate ways to build on inherited knowledge during times of pain and weave stories of liberation, envisioning what a free Palestine and, by extension, a free world might look like. These sessions will be documented and used as the research basis for a longer-term project, with the outcome showcased in Kunsthal on June 16th.

Common Ground is a collaborative artistic project that Anna Celda (VLC) and Saja Amro (PS) started. Using the dining table and the kitchen as research laboratories, CG creates a caring and comforting space to delve into topics like female labour, inherited knowledge, and culinary histories. Inspired by indigenous food cultures and traditions, the duo challenges the colonial, individualistic, and isolating eating habits imposed by late capitalism. Their work immerses audiences in sensory experiences that spark reflection and connection by offering indulgence and abundant foodscapes. The duo works collaboratively with local communities to imagine alternative autonomous futures under the expansive and exploitative nature of the capitalist system.