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recollect space

Recollect Space focuses on people’s memories of their architectural surroundings. It connects places to stories and experiences which are shaped by remembered and retold architectural details. Specifically, the project refers to the memories of refugees who at the moment are not able to return to places they used to inhabit. The project depicts these places. They were informed by the thoughts and descriptions of refugees’ lost architectural surroundings which were translated into abstract images using three-dimensional software. The created images are presented alongside personal stories and memories. They are open for individual interpretation. Recollect Space invites to think the connection of place, memory and narration further. It challenges individual imaginations of heard descriptions.

Recollect Space focuses on people’s memories of their architectural surroundings. It connects places to stories and experiences which are shaped by remembered and retold architectural details. Specifically, the project refers to the memories of refugees who at the moment are not able to return to places they used to inhabit.

The project depicts these places. They were informed by the thoughts and descriptions of refugees’ lost architectural surroundings which were translated into abstract images using three-dimensional software. The created images are presented alongside personal stories and memories. They are open for individual interpretation.

Recollect Space invites to think the connection of place, memory and narration further. It challenges individual imaginations of heard descriptions.

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recollect

space




introduction

process

description

008

010

014


016 football stadium

032 mount qassioun

052 village house

070 lovers haraat

086 virtual café

102 dwelaa jaramana

120

136

kutum city

window goal

146

168

al-hamidiyah

al-quamshli

182 record player


introduction


RECOLLECT SPACE

INTRODUCTION

9

Recollect Space focuses on people’s memories of their architectural

surroundings. It connects places to stories and experiences

which are shaped by remembered and retold architectural details.

Specifically, the project refers to the memories of refugees who

at the moment are not able to return to places they used to

inhabit.

The project depicts these places. They were informed by the

thoughts and descriptions of refugees’ lost architectural surroundings

which were translated into abstract images using

three-dimensional software. The created images are presented

alongside personal stories and memories. They are open for

individual interpretation.

Recollect Space invites to think the connection of place, memory

and narration further. It challenges individual imaginations of heard

descriptions.


process


RECOLLECT SPACE

PROCESS

11

As an architect, I always engage with space - urban, built, indoor,

outdoor and in between. My involvement with space posed questions

about architectural memory - specifically: Which details and

fabrics are remembered when moving through a city, a town or

a building and which aspects of architecture are of personal

importance?

I started to ask people about their daily paths. Each individual has

established urban and architectural networks through routines.

I was interested to understand what people focus on: What

habits, thoughts and feelings do they connect to certain spots

in an architectural surrounding? What have they become aware

of in their everyday repetition? Or have they become aware of

anything in particular?

Formulating my initial proposal, I started to collect more and

more places and sequences on my own daily paths - habits and

places that have a particular meaning for myself formed connections.

The map of my city showed my personal footprint: routes

to work, paths to favorite cafés or the way home. It reveals

amendments to routines, for example to increase the likelihood

to meet friends. Thus, the city is full of personal architectural

layers which merge into the physical urban network.

Becoming more and more aware of my own cityscape and how

to describe and show it to others, I learnt that this first concept

did not entirely provide the answer to the initial question. I knew

to much about the places my friends described. As I had my

own feelings, thoughts and memories of these places, I would

not have been able to recreate them without personal influence.


12


13

Thus, I refocused on a group of persons from places that I have

never physically visited. I chose refugees because their memory

of places has a special importance to them, and also because

they are not able to go back to the places they come from. For

them, the places and paths of their daily architectural environment

only exist in memories.

Talking to different persons, I soon understood the difference in

individual perception and emphasis. Some focus more on indoor

places - places they feel safe in - while others talked more about

the outside.

The recorded stories show a great variety of places and people

enjoyed sharing them. The Stories also open a different view on

the lives the refugees had to leave behind. The stories show their

daily life, which is hardly covered by the media.

Listening to the recordings, I developed my own imagination and

interpretation. I digitally created the places the way I imagined

them from the received narrations and descriptions. As a result of

this process, it was important to me to combine the audio and the

visual component in a medium that allows to experience and

explore both.

While digitally experiencing the places, the combination of

the story and my interpretation invites the viewer to individually

rethink these places. It encourages to review the personal

connection to places and to understand what people had to leave

behind. It also creates an awareness for the current situation of

refugees and for the transition from physical places to memory.

The project should give an insight in these places and lives.


description


RECOLLECT SPACE

DESCRIPTION

15

The following stories are written down the way they have been

told. Sometimes I made small adjustments to the texts to make

them more comprehensive. They are kept as close to the told

version and the recordings as possible.

The sequences are my personal interpretation of these stories.

There is no resemblance to the original. The sequences are left

conceptional to give the viewer the possibility to rethink and

re-imagine them.

The book compiles still images from the created sequences and

the descriptive texts.

These sequences are combined in a digital collection, which gives

the viewer access to the interpreted scenery while the stories and

memories are being told.

The digital version can be found on www.scheruebl.me


16


football stadium


18


FOOTBALL STADIUM

ZOKHAR

19

When he was 13 years old, they created one field for plants, they

made it a stadium for playing football.

They used something very heavy to make the floor simple to play.

His brother, he has four brothers, he is the fifth. His brother was

playing here when he was children, he used to go there just to

watch. And after he was seeing a lot of people there, it was not

a stadium. He went there and asked to be a goal keeper. He hurt

himself a lot - he loves football.

After that the government let them play there officially and they

get medals of this. A lot of teams came there and they make it

real. Very cheap medals, very shitty medals, 5 pounds (Syrian

liras), but it means a lot if you take it from another team.

I am winning. You are winner.

This is the story of this stadium it was just a field from one man,

they don’t know him in their village. They make it and this goal it

is just two - not real goal - nononoo not real, just two sticks. After

this they make it better and better. They make it real stadium and

a lot of people came. And we get a lot of problems, because they

made a lot of fights with the owner of the field, because he wants

to make vegetables. They fight with him to play football.

After this stadium I go to more big city, and I play with another

team - a real team and the coach liked my football, I was playing

good. And he said, you should come to us everyday and should

make training. And I said okay.


20


21

After this chat I go to Damascus to live there because all my brothers

studying in university and we didn’t have enough money to pay for

to places.

Like - you more pay here for this house and another house in

Damascus. And then I was fourteen, before one day we moved

to Damascus, the coach I saw him in the street - market.

And he said don’t go stay here and we make a real good team.

And we will play national. I said I can’t because all my family

moved away, and he was crying.

- Really?

- Yeah. He loved me so much. Every free kicks - penalties. I make

it, because he liked my football. and he said stay here.

And I was studying and working and after 4 years I moved to Iraq

and after I moved to Syria - before I come to Europe. And when I

come to Syria I saw the same stadium, it was like, abandoned.

Nobody lived there and nobody played there and I went in to the

middle of the field - this place. I looked in my around and I remembered

what has happened, how we do it and how now is it. It was

- I do not know - really traurig. You but live inside this field and

after you left. And when I played here I make transfer, good teams

needed me.

They said please come to us. we make good team and we will get

good medals, a lot of medals from another teams. And I moved

three or four times and I moved to Damascus.”


22



24




27


28



30



32


mount qassioun


34


MOUNT QASSIOUN

ASMAA

35

When I talk about Mount Qassioun, I mean the beauty, the

highness and the pride. Mount Qassioun is a mountain overlooking

the city of Damascus and from which the whole city

can be viewed.

When you go up to it you will see on your right Damascus and

its beautiful lights at night. It has a range of restaurants and

cafés. Also a lot of itinerant vendors. There you can see thousands

of people and tourist enjoy the view and drink coffee.

You can listen many songs in same time, because everybody

are happy. But the summit fun when you sit on the sidewalk

and look at the bottom will feel very scared by the horror of

the scene.


36



38




41


42



44



46



48



50

“That is the place where we went

for dinner, after I proposed to my

wife.”



52


village house


54


VILLAGE HOUSE

IHAB

55

That the house I grew up in it. It was built by my father in 1986. It

contains 5 rooms, a large salon for guests and an underground

cellar. And it contains a large garden surrounded, this garden

contains a lot of flowers and trees such as, apple, cherry, apricot,

pomegranate, peach and cypress.

Our house was on the main road to Damascus, and was on a

high plateau so that you can see whole village and also see

Mount Hermon covered with snow until June. Next of the house

was police office and houses my uncles. It was a beautiful house.

I have been playing there with my brothers and my friends. We

have to drink coffee and tea on the roof and share our talk for late

hours of the night. I have waited until the end of week I go to the

village and to feel calm and relaxed there.


56




59



61


62



64




67


68



70


lovers haraat


72


LOVERS HARAAT

DANIEL

73

Here this street is inside. Yah. Okay - the general street here - for

cars. And here all haraat (small streets). This two, three, four all

haraat. And this all have one, this original street. But not big like

this and no cars go like highway. Here like we have here one

school (for girls) and here one school for boys. And when we

were young we used to when we finished. We go from the school

and here we have this corner - this square here. A lot of people,

you can see a lot of people here just in the street here waiting for

the girls come from the school and pass. Okay I am waiting for

my girlfriend. Now she is passing me and okay. I follow her I go

inside one narrow, very narrow like this hara, I go talk to her

there, kiss her there. Before she go to her house, because yeah.

Sometimes the school didn’t finish yet, but she left the school

before the right time. One hour. I can see her more one hour.

Without her father or mother know this. Here all this young guys

standing here, waiting for the girls, and the girls walking like they

are in fashion, I don’t know this. Modeling. Walking. And also here

we finish from here and they come one hara. And they must

come from this street to their houses here. So they pass here

okay I come from my, here is my home, I go here. Just stand here.

here they pass me and I talk to them. Yeah this is like you learn

this from generation to another generation. It will not stop - this

one.



75


76



78




81


82



84

“Here all this young guys

standing here, waiting for the

girls, and the girls walking like

they are in fashion.”



86


virtual café


88


VIRTUAL CAFE

ZOKHAR

89

We was sitting in one café every week two or three times. After

the café we were walking together. All the time when we go to

the café we were talking about, maybe we will stay like this forever

or not.

Everyone was thinking about that. Friendship.

Everyone said something different. And someone said no. If we

can not stay like this we can stay like this in Internet or meet. And

overtime we were talking about that in the café we were having

shisha and coffee. After one month it started a very hard war in

Damascus. I was the first one who left this friendship. But I didn’t

go away from them. We made a group on the Internet and we

were talking all the time. We are still in Contact. I can show you.

WhatsApp - it is a group. All our friends. With voices, pictures,

everything. Has something you just say it on the group laughing

or discussion. Pictures. Until now we are talking about this friendship.

Everyone when we meet him new. I said. You are amazing

guys when someone is fighting - he has friends I have two friends

coming and tell them help me. If I have to pick something hard

up they will just come to me. Or if I want to go play football. When

you need this friend he will come. When you need money one

will give it to you. Real best friends. What you need.


90


91

Now it is one friend from Deutschland - I told Daniel about him.

He said come visit me. He know I have passport. He said you can

come visit me when you like. He know I like Nightclubs. He said

I have now a plan for - he didn’t go before to nightclubs. I make

plan for nightclubs. Just come for visit me. And now my best

friend in Germany he was two months in Germany and so we

was talking about this friendship and how we stay together and

now we will do it in Germany. So we will meet there. I have one

friend in Sweden. But you will not have the same café. - BUT we

can see each other. I have one friend in Deutschland, one in

Sweden one in Holland - so maybe we can meet again. I also

have one in Norway.

We made this café in the phone.

The same discussions the same people.

Now like one friend he is coming to Europe - he has Internet all

the time. He said I am in Greek now. After two hours he said I am

in Serbia now. And we know all things about him. It is still like the

café in phone.

That is about my friends.



93


94

“That is about my friends.”




97


98




“We made this café in the phone.

The same discussions, the same

people.”

101


102


dwelaa jaramana


104


DWELAA AND JARAMANA

DANIEL

105

We are four Geschwister, me and my brother and my two sisters

and my mother. My father died when I was five years. I have. My

uncle, he was in Lebanon, lived in Lebanon, and come when my

father died. My uncle come to live with us and raise us up. You

know, when the family, no man in this family, the family will

disgrace. Everyone can do whatever he wants and no one cares.

But if there is a man we will be afraid of him, so if he says don’t

do this, we will not do this, do it this way or … you understand

me. So my uncle was our father after my father. So when we grow

up, we understand life, me, my brother and my sisters. First when

we were children, me, my sister and my mother were working in

a church. Every Saturday, we go into this church and we cleaned

the church, we were playing there. This is a Catholic church - our

church. I am orthodox, but I told you about this before. We don’t

care about this. I was praying and cleaning the catholic church.

We don’t have this in Syria . When we grow up and we understand

life, me and my brother. We have this problem with my

uncle, he was very old mentality - has old mentality. When my

sister get husband, or somebody she loves or he loves her, and

want to get married of her, my uncle has a problem. What is your

problem with this man? He said this man is not rich, this man

is no doctor, and your sister very beautiful. This is arabist

mentality.


106

After me and my brother, I was 18 years and my brother 5 years

older than me. My uncle understand that we are grow, up we

understand live. He left us, he go to his home in village. My grandfather

and my grandmother in the village living. He go there to

live. Still my sisters and me and my brother. My sister and my two

sisters get married. Still me and my brother in the house. Me and

my brother we have our own room, for our friends, for our girlfriends,

for our people and my mother has her own room for her

visitors. She lived there and we lived in our room. I go work, finish

work - I go back home. My friends are already in my home, my

friends waiting for me. I go back finish. Then we have playstation

we have this young life / stuff. I take shower, eat. They are already

playing playstation, drink something, smoke something and I sit

with them till five o’clock morning, they go. This was like a routine

for us. I have one day off, which is Sunday this day I go to nightclubs,

whatever I see my girlfriend. No my girlfriend most of the

time lived with me in my home. My mother she has no problem

with this. Altough our neighbors, have problem with this. What

this girlfriend living in this home. My mother says I don’t have a

problem, I have two old men - two big men. They don’t care about

me. My mother was very open minded but our neighbors always

were talking - blablabla - Arab mentality. Even if they are christian,

you don’t have a girlfriend.


107

You get married or stay single. Me and my brother don’t care

about this. And we have another flat, okay my street called

Dwelaa, we go by car to another street called Jaramana there we

have a flat, not our flat my best friend has there flat and work. His

work in the street and his flat in the third floor. same building. We

go there some times, we also take the playstation go there visit

him. There we make parties we do whatever we want there.

Because this building is all flats, most of them for young people,

not for families so if you make loud voices is okay. Our parties

was there in Jaramana - yeah and that is.

My mother make the food, me I go back eat, my brother go back

from his work. My brother was working in electricity Geschäft.

Me, I was working in restaurants and nightclubs. Yeah this is. It

was very nice life. You care about that. You are already student,

you are studying, you are working. You have life you have … my

brother was my best friend. Me and my brother - I saw life from

my brother. I was children, he was 5 years older, and he didn’t

finish his studies, so he go work, because he must help my

mother, my mother was working and she got old so she can’t

work anymore. So he must finish studies or leave school and go

work, to help us me and my sisters to finish our study, and really

I appreciate this. He was very smart in his school but he needed

to leave school, that is why.


108

This life, I was happy with this life. Still something this mentality

of arabic - they just talking talking - but they make problems by

this talking, like our neighbors talk about us. Still my brother me

and my mother. What is your problem around us? Okay my girlfriend

come to me, what do you care? She is living in my house,

she has no house. She was living in another city. She came here

to university and she has no house. Okay come live here in my

house. We have big house, two floors. Erdgeschoss und second

floor. Three. First floor and second floor. Although all this house

we were living in the Erdgeschoss. Ground floor. Ah there is

something. In summer we don’t sit in the house. We just, our

street, like all neighbors know each other. All people. here my

house my neighbor I can go into their house without knocking

the door.

Hello I am here. Go inside eat, like one house. We go out on the

street we sit we put tables, we put chairs we drink. There is one

drink which we drink it is called Mate tea. The important thing!

We drink all the time. It is from Syria - Argentine and Syria.

Laughing, sprechen, a lot of people. Our neighbor sitting here,

another neighbor sitting here with their family and this is open

street you can pass and say hello. This is our Life in Syria. This is

life in our street. It was simple but it was sehr schön. We have

everything work, life, study.


109


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112



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119


120


kutum city


122


KUTUM CITY

BABEKIR

123

Can be a definition of home, that the first place that sees human

while birth. And the first place breathing of its air and play it -

Kutum for me is my home.

I remember this city Kutum, it has a beautiful voice and I remember

all the city, all roads inside the city. The mountains and the valleys

and the palm trees. I also like in front of the city. For me is the

beautiful place in the city. In the front of the city. You can get

splender view, all over the city, from one side is the very green,

and has palm trees and valleys and another side has the mountains

and sands and white sands. a wonderfull thing. And the

same beauty inside the people, how I know them. My family and

my friends.


124



126




129



“And the same beauty, inside the

people, how I know them.”

131


132



134



136


window goal


138


WINDOW GOAL

DANIEL

139

Here is the street and here my street, not street we call it hara.

Hara means like a street, but small street. Like it ends from here

to here. Here another hara, another people. Another peoples

Kind of a side street? Yeah, we know them, they know us, but

they are not real neighbors for us. Here also. Okay. Here all, you

can see markets. So that is like a bigger street? Yeah that is

wide and that is narrow street. Here like this houses. Each

house has room on the street, and this room has one window.

This window we make it as a goal. Yah we play football here.

Like this goal here and this goal here. And we play football here

when we were children and still now.

We play football at this goal and this. Two against two. Three

people against three. And we play football inside, and all the

time fight with the neighbors and the owners. because all the

time the windows broken.



141


142

“... because all the time the

windows broken.”




145


146


al-hamidiyah


148


AL-HAMIDIYAH MARKET

IHAB

149

It is the largest and oldest market in Syria and located inside the

old city of Damaskus, next to citadel. It is long market, it start at

the Althawra street and ends at the Alamawi Mosque, and it is

covered market. When you enter the market, you will see the

shops on both sides interspersed with monumental columns and

see the sun light through the holes in the roof.

There you can find anything you want, clothing, shoes, antiques,

perfumes … And a lot of restaurants and eastern desserts. There

you see tourists from around the world, and it is necessary when

you go there to eat ice cream in „Bakdash“, it is so famous

where you can eat Arabian ice cream and nuts handmade

without machines.


150




153



155



157


158



160




163



165


166



168


al-quamshli


170


AL-QUAMSHLI

ZOKHAR

171

I moved from Al-Quamshli I moved to Damascus and I lived in

Damascus. I was thinking of living in Al-Quamshli again. But

when I moved to Al-Quamshli it was ISIS there. But when I was

in Iraq I thought I was going to visit them. But when I was in

Al-Quamshli I see nobody. When you walk in the street you just

see woman. Old man and woman. I wanted to live there. I wanted

to make a small shop and I wanted to work. A friseur, I was at one

neighbour and he said he will teach me how to and then I can

work on my own. But after I get called from the military to fight.

Kurdish military not from Assad. I already have one from Assad

but one other.

You go inside, it is small doors and one big door for car. and if

you go inside you just say: „ Dany Dany!“ and Dany will come.

And I visited my first friend and I said: „Delya Delya!“ His sister

came outside and she said:“ Your friend is now in Switzerland,

he is not here.“ I put my hand in my pocket and think about that.

Everyone is gone, I can’t meet anybody. Overtime I was. My father

don’t know I am smoking. I put my pack outside from the house.

I go outside. I want to smoke with one friend. I go outside and

smoke one cigarette. I didn’t see nobody. Nobody in the street. I

do that again and sleep.


172



174

“When you walk in the street you

just see women. Old man and

women.”




177



179


180



182


record player


184


RECORD PLAYER

HARIS

185

I was born in Sarajevo, that is in Bosnia, my grandfather had built

our house there. My parents, my brother and I were living in the

ground floor, and my grandparents were living in the first floor.

We only had two rooms, there was a TV in the living room and

on the opposite side, there was a couch. I used to climb up on it

as a child, because you could see the lights of the city quite far.

Ah yes, and in front of the TV there was a record player on the

floor. My father used to listen to a lot of records, and my mom

tells the story, that i used to play with it all the time. Because, if

there was no electricity, I always tried to rotate the vinyl by hand.

But they forbid me to play with it when the news where on TV.

My parents wanted to have their peace while watching the news.I

can remember my mom saying to my dad: „That can not be true,

that is impossible, not here in our place.“

And one day, my dad was not in the room, and my mom was

watching TV on her own. Suddenly there was a loud bang, my

mother was looking outside of the window, and she told me that

it was fireworks by some stupid people on the other side. But

then my dad rushed into the room under a lot of stress and said:

„That is not fireworks, it is bombs“. My mother was laughing at

him, and telling him that he should stop being ridiculous, and not

believe in what they said in the media. But after that there were

so many explosions, so my mom came to me, I was sitting on the

floor, and she covered my ears. But of course not to tight, and i

could hear my father say: „That is the war.“ I can not really describe

it that well, but my dad’s expression was really desperate and so

sad, so that i got really scared. He turned of the light immediately,

and we were sitting on the floor. I do not know for how long,

probably the whole night, but I felt asleep at some point.

Yes and after some months, my mom, my brother and I came to

Austria via an UN-Refugee-convoy.


186



188

“I used to climb up on it as a

child, because you could see the

lights of the city quite far.“



190




193


194

“Because, if there was no

electricity, I always tried to rotate

the vinyl by hand. “





I want to thank,


the people who told me stories.

Asmaa, Babekir, Daniel, Haris, Ihab, John, Omar, Roma and Zokhar

the people, who helped me to get contact with refugees.

Franz, Julia and my parents

the people, who reviewed the book, translated for me and proofread

my texts.

Anna, Charles, Laïla, Philippe and Therese

the Bundeskanzleramt, Sektion II: Kunst und Kultur

for the Start-Stipendium 2015, which made this project possible.

edition of 48

self-published 2016

first-edition

RECOLLECT SPACE

A PROJECT BY WILHELM SCHERÜBL

www.scheruebl.me


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