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An event without its poem is an event that never happened is the outcome of a larger research project named Moving Knowledges: Towards a speculative Arab art residency proto-history which has been developed as part of the practice-led Ph.D. in Art at Edinburgh University - Edinburgh College of Art.

This research and the speculative Arab art residency proto-history proposed within it would not have been possible without the support of a constellation of individuals and institutions that have trusted in, enhanced, and expanded this proposal, making of the research journey a thoughtful and exciting process.

Firstly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my tutors and advisers Prof. Neil Mullholland and Prof. Edward Hollis at ECA – Edinburgh College of Art, as well as Prof. María Iñigo at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya for their patience, motivation, and knowledge. Their guidance has been essential for the development of this project.

Besides my tutors, I would like to thank also the ECA, the SGSAH – Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, ALF – Anna Lindh Foundation, SouthMed CV, Tandem Shaml, Reshape, TransCultural Exchange and the OSIC – Organisme de Suport a les Iniciatives Culturals de la Generalitat de Catalunya for their trust and support.

An event without its poem is an event that never happened is also the outcome of several research residencies. I want to thank Darat al Funun Dissertation Fellowship team, who provided me with the opportunity to be a research fellow in Amman (Jordan), and who gave access to the institution's invaluable archive and research facilities, as well as Glycines (Algiers) and the CCDS – Centre Culturel et de Documentation Saharienne (Gardaia), Gudran and Nassim el Raqs (Egypt) and the monks at El Miracle Monastery (Catalonia).

I want to thank also the numerous individuals and organizations that, through their willingness to work in collaboration and give their insights in different stages of this project, have made of this research an enriching and fruitful endeavor. Indeed through the development of projects such as NACMM_North Africa Cultural Mobility Map, Beyond Qafila Thania, and The Art of Getting Lost long-lasting exchanges have been created. My special gratitude goes to the teams behind Le18, Atelier Observatoire and Project Qafila in Morocco; Rhizome and Box24 in Algeria; Maison de l’Image in Tunisia; El Madina for Performing and Digital Arts, Gudran Arts and Development and Nassim el Raqs in Egypt; MMAG Foundation, Spring Sessions and Darat al Funun in Jordan and Jiser in Catalonia.

Also, I thank my friends at Platform Harakat, Marta Vallejo, Ro Caminal and Balbina Sardà for their dedication, patience, and empathy, as well as Patricia Healy McMeans, Neja Tomšič, Heidi Vogels, Jess Stephens, Heba el-Cheikh, Francesca Massoero, Ali al-Adawi, Delphine Blondet, Hamza Mahfoud, Constanze Flame, Mireia Estrada, Silvia Sanpons, Marta Perez and Mark Aitken for their companionship and feedback.

Finally, I want to also thank Lara Bourdin, Emad Ahmad, and especially the Untitled duo (Yvon Langué and Soukaina Aboulaoula) for their patience, dedication, and professionalism in proofreading, translating and designing what has become An event without its poem is an event that never happened.

As the Iranian sociologist, Ali Shariati pointed out some decades ago, “a futureless past is a state of inertia and stagnation, while a pastless future is alien and vacuous.”

An event without its poem is an event that never happened has intended to remediate pastless futures and futureless past through a project that is seen, not so much as an end, but as a continuation, or rather a new beginning.


Project researcher and curator
Pau Catà

Project supervised by
Prof. Neil Mullholland and Prof. Edward Hollis as part of the practice-led Ph.D. in Art (2016 - 2020) at ECA – Edinburgh College of Art / Edinburgh University

Arabic translation
Emad Ahmad

Lara Bourdin

Project’s website design and development
Untitled duo (Soukaina Aboulaoula & Yvon Langué), assisted by Imane Bensouda

August 2020

Main Funders