To light a fire
is to invite the others in
In Arabic, the word ‘mish’aal’ means ‘bonfire’. It comes from the verb ‘to burn’ or ‘to light’ and is also used as a figure of speech – ‘they burn with a passion.’
Traditionally when nomadic tribes, travelling through the desert, set up base for an overnight rest, they would often start a fire, whose light and smoke could be seen from vast distances in the sky. Such a bonfire sent a message to other travellers that they would be welcome to stop and join the tribe in sharing food and water. In this way, Al-Mish’aal is a symbol of welcome, hospitality. It is an open invitation for communication and discourse with others.
Al Mish’all at Wyndham Street is a new building-based project which sees us taking up residence at a community space in the heart of Riverside. Building on Rethinking Riverside (work undertaken in 2018 with CPRN and SusPlace) through this space and the activities we build around it, we want to ask these and other questions:
How do we build spaces in which culture is accessible not just as a one off, but continually into the future.
How do we share our desires for the future with others.
How can our desires speak through the projects we design together.
How do we explore how power functions in our society, and create alternatives in our neighbourhoods.
How can a location that isn’t home become a place everyone feels they belong to.