Clandestino Festival: Virtual museum – Art from Gaza

FREDAG 5 JULI, GÖTEBORG Hawaii Collective: Sahab Museum på Clandestino Festival

Hawaf Collective: Sahab Museum

As part of our new art venture – I’m Not Your Angel – we can now present the installation of a virtual museum that collects art from Gaza at Filmstudion during the Clandestino Festival 4-7 July 2024. 

The artist collective Hawaf Collective has built the Sahab Museum where art and cultural heritage gtom Gaza is uploaded into a “cloud” (سحاب sahab in Arabic) until there is a safe place on which this museum can be built IRL in the future. 

The project will be presented by the collective’s four founders: Mohamed Abusal, Palestinian artist from Gaza, Mohamed Bourouissa, French-Alegerian artist, Sondos El-Nakhala, Palestinian architect from Gaza, and Salman Nawati, Palestinian artist from Gaza.


Gaza, which occupies an important geographical position, connects by land three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe). The city is one of the oldest and most ancient cities in the world; it embraces treasures that go back to the ancient roots of the Arab Canaanite eras and civilizations, where many are hidden. The city is living in a state of isolation and exceptional circumstances that did not allow these legacies to be revealed. Gaza needs to excavate, research, and document this history. And for that, it needs a safe place to present its cultural wealth to the world and break out of isolation.
How to process the past, do something in the now and imagine another future? Especially, in the case of Gaza’s past, present and future. In order to do this, we need to craft ourselves a secure space. A space to rethink and imagine. A space to allow for our dreams to take shape despite the weight of Gaza’s violent everyday life. 

Can our imagination become a powerful tool in the face of that reality? 
How can you imagine a museum in Gaza, without it being about power?

Named Sahab Museum as an “imaginary institution” it will reflect a new image of Gaza’s heritage and history. The Sahab Museum will be a virtual space for the exploration of ideas and art. It will be shaped around virtual reality technologies to allow all visitors from Palestine and the entire world to walk through it, from wherever they are based. A Museum without borders. Even if virtual, the form of the museum was designed by taking inspiration from Gaza’s old town: by the style and architecture of buildings and houses in that region. As such, for example, a courtyard will occupy the center. Each detail reflects a value period of Gaza. From this architectural inspiration, came the concept and the form of sedimentation.

Free from walls, the Sahab Imaginary Museum is liberated. This freedom will enable it to display a large collection. Even if focused on history, the Sahab Museum will also spotlight contemporary creations and especially advocate for the creation of digital artworks, offline and online workshops, and material works.

Sahab can be translated as “cloud”. We thought that “the cloud” would be the most appropriate place for the location of the museum. Indeed, “clouds” are a gateway to the outside world. Reappropriating the term cloud in the Arabic language is meaningful for us; it is a way to give it back its plurality. 

Our main concept is to rebuild the community through building the museum. To this end, the community will help us to build the Sahab Museum. It is by building a community and shaping the identity of the museum, that Sahab can be created. The more expansive the community, the broader and more inclusive the museum will be. We would like to enhance the museum’s potential of being an educational space, by connecting to the community.

“Hawaf” (which means “edges”) collective was established in 2021, as the project of the Museum was born out of a collective idea and composite dreamers. The group is committed to pursuing the project as far as possible and developing its possibilities in the long-term, and through several steps. In the future, Sahab Imaginary Museum could potentially lead to the creation of an in-real-life institution in Gaza.

Sahab Imaginary Museum will be a space that will champion Gaza’s past and will protect it from loss and focus on imagining a brighter future through the practice of imagination.

Image caption: Mohamed Bourouissa, SIGNAL, Palais de Tokyo, 16.02.2024 – 30.06.2024. Crédit photo Aurélien Mole. © ADAGP, Paris, 2024. Installation view, A Place to Be (c) Hawaf 2024.

Evenemang fredag 5 juli på Clandestino Festival

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