Raghad Saqfalhait was born in Albira, Palestina in 1996 and lives in Ramallah. She is an artist and an architect working in the multi-disciplinary field of material research and design. She documents and experiments with material, their histories of extraction and transformation, their geological structures and compositions, and their entanglement with questions of property and exploitation within geographies of settler colonialism.
Her work was supported by The Prince Claus Seed Awards 2022 and was part of Riwaq’s research/ artistic project The Absent Map: Rural Jerusalem in an Alternative Narrative. She received the JEA prize for her project Scales of Integration: The Body, the Cemetery, and the Terrain.
She started her long-term project The Geography of Craft in 2021 in Al-Jib, Jerusalem and then expanded to other rural contexts like Cutrofiano, Puglia, during Soil Futures residency at KORA - Contemporary Arts Center with Art Vessel. In that framework, she conducted multiple hands-on workshops and installations over the past two years such as La Crita è mia! On Material and Materiality in Cutrofiano, Wild Clay Lab in Al-Jib, and Molding with Waste in Ramallah.
In 2019, she co-founded Sakeb: a design collective working on, about, and through waste; especially waste produced by the Stone and Marble Industry in Palestine. Sakeb was exhibited in multiple venues including Milan Design Week (2022), Amman design Week (2019), Warehouse421, Art Jameel, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Beit Obaid Al-Shamsim A.M. Qattan Foundation.
The village of Travo, which today numbers just over 2,000 inhabitants, has a history stretching back thousands of years: from the distant Neolithic period dating back to the fifth millennium B.C. to the arrival of the Ancient Romans, from the Longobard invasion to feudalism and on to the dominations by the various families in the area. The Archaeological Park of the Neolithic village of Travo, created in 2006 and enlarged with full-scale reconstructions of buildings, protects and promotes one of the most important prehistoric sites identified in northern Italy, where archaeological excavations are still being organised.
In the village, the Castle of Travo is a dominant presence, built by the Malaspina family in the 12th century and then taken over by the Anguissola family. Donated to the municipality in 1978, it now houses the Civic Archaeological Museum. For years it was the summer home of Giana Anguissola, an important 20th-century writer from Piacenza, to whom the National Literary Competition of unpublished novels and short stories for children, founded in 2010, is dedicated. The variety of cultural proposals in Travo is part of a precise strategy that also includes the promotion of its architectural and environmental heritage. In fact, Travo is a centre of primary importance in the province and especially in the Trebbia Valley, with thousands of tourists arriving in the summer.