27 February 2023–2 March 2023

The Tree School

with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti of DAAR

Part of Alserkal Art Week

Starts 27 February 2023

Ends 2 March 2023

Venue Alserkal Arts Foundation

Warehouse 50/51

Register Now


The Tree School is a gathering place for groups and individuals interested in learning from each other and in sharing common urgencies based on lived experiences. Developed by Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, who work under the name DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Research, the Tree School can last for days, months, or years, depending on the participants’ interests. It is a space for conviviality and the joy of learning together. Learning under the shade of a tree is a common practice found in many cultures around the world. The tree is a living being with its own particular story and mythologies. Its connection with other plants offers a physical and metaphorical space for sharing knowledge.

Presented by Alserkal Arts Foundation in Dubai, we will gather in different locations around the city over four consecutive evenings, from Monday 27 February to Thursday 2 March. To allow for conversation, places are limited and registration is encouraged. We welcome participation or careful listening, we invite you to join us for as many evenings as you can.

Alserkal Avenue will be our meeting point every day, with refreshments and transportation provided.

Monday, 27 February

5 - 7pm | Picnic at Creek Park

Departure from Alserkal Avenue at 4pm

Tuesday, 28 February

5 - 7pm | Open house with NYUAD Students*

7- 9pm | Tree School discussion

Alserkal Arts Foundation Project Space, Warehouse 50

Refreshments at the Project Space from 5pm

Wednesday, 1 March

5 - 8pm | Desert Campfire

Departure from Alserkal Avenue at 4pm

Thursday, 2 March

5 - 6 pm | Al Shindagha Museum - Perfume House

6 - 8 pm | Mazmi Cafe, Dubai Creek

(Departure from The Yard, Alserkal Avenue at 4pm)

Further details will be provided upon registration. Please do register as spaces are limited.

A few spaces will be reserved for drop-ins on a first come, first serve basis.

Read through The Tree School Chronicle by Reem Farah for insight into what happens day by day.

About DAAR

The artistic practice of DAAR – Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti – is situated between architecture, art, pedagogy and politics. Over the last two decades, they have developed a series of research- projects that are both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. In their artistic research practice, art exhibitions are both sites of display and sites of action that spill over into other contexts: built architectural structures, the shaping of critical learning environments, interventions that challenge dominant collective narratives, the production of new political imaginations, the formation of civic spaces and the re-definition of concepts.

* In January 2023, the Tree School was activated with students from NYU Abu Dhabi in the context of a January term course conducted by Sandi Hilal. They have produced a website and film based on their experiences which will be shared in the presence of some of the students who will join our session on February 28. DAAR and Alserkal Arts Foundation would like to thank NYUAD and the students for their engagement.