Abir Boukhari from Syria is curator-in-residence during the spring and summer at Residence Botkyrka. She is the co-founder of AllArtNow, an independent contemporary arts platform that was launched in 2005 in Damascus together with artist Nisrine Boukhari. A neglected house in the old city of Damascus served as AllArtNow’s laboratory for art, a hub for emerging artistic practice and a meeting point for local and international artists to exchange creative ideas and form collaborations. Since July 2012, AllArtNow closed its doors in Syria to open it to Syrian refugee families and starts to work in different places in the world as a nomadic space.
In the ongoing project the Museum of Preserving City, Abir is exploring the many layers of a city, its history and memory. Every city has its own story, created by its inhabitants and filtered through their realities, everyday struggles, pains, dreams and hopes. In the Museum of Preserving City the story is focused at Damascus, the city that is known as one of the oldest in the world. It was here that Abir was born, raised and where she lived with her family. She observed the many phases of the city until the war made it impossible to stay. Today, Damascus is considered to be one of the most dangerous places, tormented by the brutalities of the war.
The project includes artworks from different phases: the past, the recent past and the present and vision about future. Abir is interested in building an archive made by artists who have experienced the city. The archive consists of artworks from a variety of media; it is an attempt to build a conceptual artistic archive of Damascus and its current situation, as a basis for the audience and those who might be interested as experts to understand the creative point of view of the artists before and during the war.