11 July 2023

Alternative Archives: Poetry as Witness | Danabelle Gutierrez and Haraka Lab

Alserkal Arts Foundation

Starts 6:30 pm

Ends 8:00 pm

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51

Register Now


Join us Tuesday 11 July from 6:30 - 8pm for Alternative archives: Poetry as Witness with poet and artist Danabelle Gutierrez and Haraka Lab research associate Ban Kattan at Common Room, Warehouse 51.

The term ‘alternative archive’ refers to any archive that is built and constructed outside the boundaries of the institutional archive’s geographies and practices. Through a discussion with award-winning poet Danabelle Gutierrez about her artistic practice, this Haraka Lab plurilogue explores poetry as an exercise of self-documentation, where alternative archiving acts as a vital witness, repository, and organizer of stories and histories left behind by the conventional norms of documentation and their standard measures of importance.

The event takes the form of a Plurilogue, a term that evokes the notion of dialogue that goes beyond two sides. Plurilogue is akin to a roundtable discussion in which the invited speaker shares research followed by interventions by attendees. All participants are expected to situate their own work in relation to their location in their institutions, geographies, and trajectories as well as to the speaker’s presentation. The event will be followed by a light dinner.

Register here.

Plurilogue is organized by Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought, an interdisciplinary and dynamic space that bridges the arts and social sciences in Al Mawrid: Arab Center for the Study of Art at New York University Abu Dhabi. Through research, archives, pedagogy, and exchange platforms that activate the Global Network of NYU while simultaneously building connections to the thinkers, artists, and alumni in the region, Haraka allows a space for movement and flow, and also a more nuanced reading of the politics of translation and knowledge production. Haraka Lab is currently hosted at Alserkal Arts Foundation as part of its guest residency program in 2023.


Danabelle Gutierrez is an award winning artist, writer, actress, and photographer. She is the author of Tears Across the Earth, a collection of short stories and poems, as well as poetry books & Until The Dreams Come and I Long To Be The River and chapbooks Eventually, The River Surrenders and Softer. Her writing has been published in The Common, Cordite Poetry Review, Postscript Magazine, ElectraStreet, WordsDance, and in a video for Vogue Arabia recited by Ciara, among other publications. Born in Las Piñas, raised in Cairo, Vienna, and Muscat, Danabelle currently lives in Dubai.

Ban Kattan is a research associate at Haraka: Experimental Lab for Arab Art and Social Thought of al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art at New York University Abu Dhabi. Her areas of interest cover issues of human and institutional capacity building, sustainable development, gender equality, as well as Arab art and culture. Ban specializes in translation practices for art and culture organizations in the Middle East and is certified by the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario, Canada.

For any questions, please reach out to

Image courtesy Danabelle Gutierrez