Daily Decisions brings together collaborative works by designers and artists from the Disarming Design Department of Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. The presented projects generously share daring dialogues, collective collages, memorising methods, unexpected unions, sophisticated structures, tentative translations and intuitive instruments. Disconnect and connect, displace and place, undo and do together our Daily Decisions.

9–12 June

Decision of the Day Diving Deep

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Scenes from a Classroom
(1)Radio Diasbura in Sandberg’s basement K29 was the first space we shared as a department while looking for a place to settle. Dee-yas-bura: Diaspora, with an accent. Gaber [on air]: “Diaspora has something to do with our presence here, but I get that sensation in Cairo as well.”
(2)The water for the tea is boiling, and the coffee is on the stove. In our narrow kitchen, Qusai grabbed glasses from the top of the bar to our large oval-shaped table.
(3)Naira watered the plants.
(4)Tea and coffee are ready. Our day begins with cinnamon biscuits, zaatar, which one of us brought from home, olive oil, and bread.
(5)Who are we missing? Jara wonders, and Julina replies while looking down at her phone, checking our “no tutors” telegram group: Lama had texted that she would be eleven minutes late.
(6)Finding a space for our department may seem to put our questions to rest. Fabulous Future (FaFu) was the starting point of so many collective dialogues, meetings, controversies, and arguments about how to run such a space
(7)How do we maintain the order of things?
(8)Who facilitates the payment of the rent?
(9)When the power goes down, who is in charge of dealing with the electrician?
(10)What can we do to save the building?
(11)In a pot, Anna fries onions and carrots in olive oil and possibly other veggies if we have them, such as leek or parsnip. Siwar adds garlic and seasonings when it’s almost done browning. Saja adds lentils and water; enough to cover the food with two fingers. She cooks them until the lentils are tender. Anna grinds coriander and parsley, and makes a mix with some garlic, salt, and olive oil in a mortar with a pestle. Siwar removes the soup from the heat and stirs in the herb-garlic mixture and a generous glug of sherry vinegar.
(12)She yells: The soup is ready!
(13)We’d bring out our off-white pleated tablecloth, which Anna and Ott fashioned out of leftover fabrics for special occasions, like our feedback feast or monthly dinners. The pattern – with a layer screen-printed on the cloth each time we use it – records some of our dialogues and memories, just as the fabric bears witness to our meals together.
(14)Karmel, Mohammed, and Sarah took turns playing music.
(15)chill because everything shows in crisis
(16)Since residing in Amsterdam, we constantly hear about educational institutions developing diversity and inclusion policies and how they support movements such as Black Lives Matter, climate justice, and decolonisation to confront our world's injustices.
(17)Amid a rapidly unfolding chain of events in late April and May of 2021 – protests against Israeli plans to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, days of violent Israeli raids and hundreds of injuries at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip – we watched our institution remain silent.
(18)Devastation filled our hearts day in and day out as we went unrecognized by the institute that had brought us all together. Their silence filled us with anger and frustration.
(19)Dear Executive Board of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, In light of the current international movement for the liberation of Palestine, and the historical and monumental reclamation of established discourses and narratives, we, the students of the Disarming Design Department at Sandberg Institute, find it immoral that Sandberg and Rietveld have remained publicly silent so far. You claim to teach decolonial theory and yet have failed to take even the smallest of action in solidarity with Palestine. This year, your lack of action is more problematic than ever, given, as you have stated officially before, our department “is derived from the long-term collaboration between the Design Department and the design platform ‘Disarming Design from Palestine’, which is committed to design practices that deal with conditions of conflict, oppressive forces and entangled histories.” We ask you to condemn the settler-colonial genocidal entity that is the “state of Israel”, that is committing crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and human rights violations as we speak. There can be no neutral position today. It is very simple. Silence aligns you with the oppressor. We demand your immediate action through a public statement on all social media platforms and the institutions’ websites at the very least. Decolonial theory is nothing without decolonial practice. Sincerely,
he students of Disarming Design Lama Aloul, Saja Amro, Julina Vanille Bezold, Rasha Dakkak, Farah Fayyad, Mohamed Gaber, Anna Celda, Ayman Hassan, Siwar Kraitem, Ott Metusala, Naira Nigrelli, Karmel Sabri, Qusai Al Saify, Sarah Saleh, Mohammed Tatour, Jara van Teeffelen, Samira Vogel
(20)We would continue to meet at the apartment for a month, either before or after a protest, as Ayman and Samira were the ones who lived closest to Dam Square, where the demonstrations in Amsterdam would take place. We’d take turns carrying the three fabric banners we stenciled in Lifta, an open-source typeface by Palestinian designer Omaima Dajani.
(22)Defining solidarity- The meaning of Free Palestine- Reclaiming the narrative- Call to action and active social change
(23)In the context of art education and institutions in the Netherlands- Sharing our experience / conversation with the board (of the institution)- Board's hesitations and concerns: multiplicity of voices and positions within the schools, unpacking hesitation and concerns of board and others alike. - In parallel: values of the institution and claim to human rights- Calling out for solidarity is not a call to polarize or dismiss
(24)Failure of the institution- How is the call for solidarity delayed / refused / dismissed?- Experiences of various guests- What has worked / has been working for us so far? - Intersectional approach to solidarity
Sarah Saleh, Jara van Teeffelen, Lama Aloul, Saja Amro, Julina Vanille Bezold, Anna Celda, Rasha Dakkak, Farah Fayyad, Samira Vogel, Mohammed Tatour, Qusai Al Saify, Karmel Sabri, Naira Nigrelli, Ott Metusala, Siwar Kraitem, Ayman Hassan, Mohamed Gaber

Excerpt from Scenes from a Classroom essay, written by Rasha Dakkak fro Durable Discussions publication