It Washes Away: Aleppo Soap
Project Description
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"الحنين هو اختصاص الذاكرة في تجميل ما احتجب من المشهد، وترميم شباك سقط دون أن يصل سقوطه إلى الشارع."
محمود درويش

"Longing is the specialty of memory in beautifying what was hidden in the scene, fixing a window that had fallen off without ever having hit the street."
Mahmoud Darwish

This is a window from Khan al-Wazir in Aleppo, Syria. But rather than ashlar and quarry stones it is built out of another local material: Aleppo soap.

Masonry architecture is attached to connotations of endurance, resilience and strength. The heaviness and solidity of stone implies timelessness, and a sense of rooted belonging. Soap, however, disintegrates unlike traditional masonry; it appears solid, but is vulnerable and fragile, for it chips and washes away. The constant threat of melting away speaks of the fragility of built heritage, cultural riches and human life itself in times of crisis.

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This piece is part of the ongoing Aleppo Soap Project, developed with the architect Sofia Singler. Our window took part in Take Me There (Pop-Up Exhibition)- Heong Gallery, Cambridge in May 2018.

Exhbition Pamphlet PDF