‘by the book’ at International Project Space

Pioneered by artist, lecturer and gallery director Stuart Whipps, the International Project Space is a new exhibition venue at the Birmingham School of Art.

As is hinted by the name, the International Project Space hosts a programme of exhibitions that bring together international artists, local practitioners and the school’s fine art students.

Now entering its second year, the gallery has a packed programme of exhibitions, dinners, participatory events and lectures that explore what it means to be an artist in an international age.

Curated by international researcher Tamadher Alfahal, by the book launches the gallery’s 17-18 season.

by the book

Still from ‘Bahrain Poems’ (2017) Muhammed Almubarak. Edited by Hajer Ghareeb

by the book

9 October – 23 October 2017

ULAFA’A INITIATIVE is pleased to present by the book, a group show at the International Project Space.

By the book highlights structures that dictate everyday issues; the written or implied rulebooks of social behaviour. Individuals are cultivated through the way their immediate environment functions, and through the rulebooks given to them. These two frameworks tell us what is acceptable and what is not, ideally to create some sense of order. If one were to break away from the collective pattern; act differently, think differently, it creates resistance. Singular subjectivity steps out of a collective symbolic order and refuses to fit into a composed whole. These artists critically analyse the rulebooks of their societies, and where the line is drawn between benefit and regulation; control and conformity; traditions and misconceptions.

By the book questions the things we should and shouldn’t do.
The spaces we should or shouldn’t occupy.
What to destroy, and what to preserve.
The way we should and shouldn’t dress.
When we should speak, when to hold our tongues.
When to be part of a society, and when to be an individual.
We question the books we choose to go by.

Ulafa’a Initiative was founded in 2012 by Tamadher Ali and Nada Alaradi, who brought together a group of diverse Bahraini youth with various artistic skills who use art as a tool to narrate, change, and heal. It is an ongoing project that creates platforms for individuals to express themselves, and to strengthen relationships of respect and understanding among the different communities of Bahrain.


Contact Us


Instagram and Twitter: @ulafaa


Leave a Reply