Saba Innab

How  to build without a Land, 2011 ongoing

Executed by Mariam Jarallah and Sawangwongse Yawnghwe


Old Commercial Press

The ongoing project How to build without a Land considers the relationship of construction and land to time; to a temporariness that gradually transforms—or deforms—into durability. Referencing the Palestinian refuge and exile in particular, but also human alienation in general, the work recognizes the impossibility of construction without land as self-evident. However, imagining such a possibility may be an essential prerequisite to effecting long-due change in architecture and politics.  The work explores variable notions of "building", whether by the physical construction of an object, or by building with "language" through different elements.


The text here is an etymological deconstruction of the word “dwell” in Arabic. The root of the word has two meanings; one is to “remain or stay in peace”, the other is “being still”. This linguistic complexity reveals an impossibility of dwelling, and hints at the fact that we can only dwell at the end of things or when we die.

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