Ola Hassanain

Ola Hassanain trained her focus on the subtle politics of space—namely, how built spaces react to and reinforce violence from state entities, which in turn creates a built environment that reflects, responds to, regulates the lives of those who inhabit it. Her most recent work explores an idea of ‘space as discourse,’ an expanded notion of space that encompasses political and environmental questions. Her work tries to develop a spatial vocabulary that follows how ruptures presented by ‘political events’, make it possible to aspire to new kinds of ecologies. 

Ola’s work propositions alternative readings of space-the ‘just is’ state of architecture against the State terror on our lives, our ways of being as a people and a real landscape/geography that goes beyond the ‘Built Environment’. She started collaborating in spaces that helped her mediate and conceptualise space as political discourse, opening it up and inviting more workable geographies that would stress imagining possibilities outside of State terror. 

In 2017, Ola became a fellow at BAK basis voor kunst in Utrecht, Netherlands. Her research titled: Doing Family- was reference to how her state of Diaspora necessitated expanding on the spatial paradigms that bound us to walls and locations where we are neither seen nor liberated subjects. In 2018, she was awarded the Flexible Grant by the Prince Claus Fund, for the project: Our Stakes in your Rhythm. In 2019 Her work contributed to the Chicago Architecture Biennale, Sharjah Architecture Triennale and in 2020 La Internationale’s Windows and Balconies: Artists in Quarantine and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Ola currently teaches at ‘Art in Context’ HKU and is a PhD-in-Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Art Vienna. She is now developing her artistic research towards developing spatial literacies that can cultivate architecture as an extension of new kinds of ecologies.