A phenomenology of in-between spaces for playful reparation

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Marie Rask Bjerre Odgaard




University of Toronto


DKK 1,170,000




Internationalisation Fellowships


This project studies playful reparation as space-making processes “in-between”, where artists and activists work to make space to thrive in under challenging social and political circumstances. By focusing on playful reparation, the study shows how playfulness, repair and art is intrinsically intertwined in an ethics of making space to be in. The project innovates current studies of art and activism in the Arab Middle East, by focusing on how making space to be in, in playful ways, ethically transgresses current geographical, political and social divides. The project will study playful reparation with point of departure in artists from Amman, Jordan, and will follow them as they move away from the region and remain engaged in it, in their work.


Our current world calls for an ethics of reparation that does not necessary rely on large scale change but rather on spaces in-between where what is shared is being investigated, and where new affective communities emerge. In particular in artistic expression in and of the Arab Middle East, such in-between spaces of reparation have been largely neglected in research. Beyond the Arab Middle East, the project will open to new engagements with local spaces for playful reparation in an uncertain world.


The project will be made possible through fieldwork with interviews and participant observation among artists and art venues in Amman. I will subsequently focus on the work that artists do in cities in Europe and North America where they have relocated, and draw these insights together in the realm of the understanding of playful spaces of reparation. I will supplement this with literature and art studies in and of the Arab Middle East. In addition to authoring articles individually, alongside artists, I will produce two co-published articles that explore playful approaches to writing about artistic spaces in-between. The latter method will provide a space for examining how playful spaces might be kept open in writing, and how they might encourage cross-disciplinary collaborations within the field.

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