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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Entry Page Architettura EN (new)


Weekend Specials. excavating the sky

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Corderie of Arsenale, 12th > 15th August, stage D
08 | 12 | 2014

a series of events focused on Syria and the production of its landscape

August 12th > 15th, stage D
Venice, Corderie of Arsenale
Author: Khaled Malas (architect/author)
Collaborator: Jana Traboulsi (illustrator/graphic designer)
Supporters: Barjeel Art Foundation and Kayany Foundation

The fifth appointment with the Weekend Specials, titled excavating the sky, is presented by the Syrian architect Khaled Malas. The meeting will take place in the context of the exhibition Monditalia at the Corderie of Arsenale, from August 12th to August 15th, stage D.
excavating the sky will gather architects, filmmakers, and activists from Syria and the Arab World with a series of events focused on Syria and the production of its contemporary landscape from before WWI till today.
Its main focus is to present a “displaced pavilion” in Syria, a well recently dug in an undisclosed location in Syria in collaboration with a local resistance movement and currently providing water for a community of 15,000 people. A second well is now in planning stages already.
“A well is a political necessity in order for place-ness to be produced in a Syrian landscape ravaged by years of neglect and war. It is not a question of writing a building upon the land, but an attempt to forge a new way of building in accordance with the current context” comments Khaled Malas, Syrian architect and organizer of this meeting. A single drawing of the well will be presented on stage D within the Arsenale, alongside a program of film screenings and discussions.
excavating the sky presentsfour moments focused on the concept of flying: the first airplane to land in Syria in 1914, the French-mandate shelling of Damascus in 1925, the Syrian Cosmonaut Muhammad Faris in 1987 and the story of a barrel bomb dropped from an helicopter into a latrine in 2014. For more information visit:
The Weekend Specials, conceived as part of the exhibition Monditalia, will be programmed by different contributors, often the same as those in the permanent exhibition, and it will unfold in diverse formats: documentaries, workshops, lectures, debates, shows and performances, in the Arsenale’s Corderie. Weekend Specials animates the Arsenale on weekends, as counterpart to the program Freeport; both essential part of the Meetings on Architecture organized by la Biennale di Venezia.
The calendar of all the meetings happening during the six months of the Exhibition is available at
August 12th 2014
2:00 pm          Opening and introduction by Khaled Malas
3:00 pm          Film Screening A Flood in Baath Country by Omar Amiralay (2003), 48 min, English subtitled
August 13th 2014
3:30 pm          Panel on Syria
Presented by:
Josh Lyons, Satellite Imagery Analyst, Human Rights Watch, Geneva
Fawaz Traboulsi, Writer & Historian, American University of Beirut, Beirut
Zaidoun Al-Zoabi, Co-Founder of Higher Commission for Civil Defence, Deraa & Berlin
August 14th 2014
4:00 pm          Film Screening The Night by Mohammad Malas (1992), 116 min, English subtitled

August 15th 2014
5:00 pm          Film Screening  Step by Step by Ossama Mohammed (1978), 25 min, English subtitled
Film Screening The Immortal Sergeant by Ziyad Kalthom (2013), 75 min, English subtitled. Followed by a conversation with the filmmaker Ziyad Kalthom.
The program may be subject to change.
The Meetings are opened to the public visiting the 14th Exhibition in possession of a valid ticket.
Ticket price € 25,00 – Concessionary Ticket Price € 22/20 – Students/Under 26 € 15,00. Tickets are valid for one admission to the Arsenale and one to the Giardini.
For all the tickets prices please visit the Tickets section.