Al-Madhafah (The Living Room) is a project by Palestinian artist, architect and researcher Sandi Hilal dedicated to the sociopolitical meaning of hospitality. Building on her long experience working in Palestinian refugee camps, and with Syrian refugees in Sweden, Hilal advocates for the right of displaced people to be a host and not to behave as eternal guests. The project was inspired by a Syrian refugee couple who had moved to Boden but continued what was an essential part of their life back home, opening up their living room to host the local community. Reflecting on this story, in 2018, Sandi Hilal opened the Al Madhafah/The Living Room, an apartment transformed into a room for collective activities in the Yellow House, an asylum accommodation in Boden.
Sandi Hilal, in conversation with Visible curator Carolina Lio, tells us about recent developments in the project and the shift in the role of institutions in long-term socially engaged art practices.