Ruptured Domesticity Exhibition Opening & Reception: In Conversation with Sana Murrani

Hosted by the Middle East Centre

Shaw Library, 6th Floor, Old Building, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE


Sana Murrani

Sana Murrani

University of Plymouth

Ammar Azzouz

Ammar Azzouz

University of Oxford


Dena Qaddumi

Dena Qaddumi


 ali albaroodi image 800x600

‘An abandoned house in the Old Town of Mosul. The door is still chain locked, like many others. The house was checked by demining teams. The check mark on the wall says: آمن, the Arabic word for "safe". Demining teams are still active around the city. They still find explosives every now and then. We also still hear of post-WWII incidents, the legacy will live longer than we thought. The Mosul liberation battle is considered the 2nd longest urban battle in modern & contemporary history.’ 
Quote and photograph by Ali Albaroodi 2022.

This event opens the exhibition Ruptured Domesticity: Mapping Spaces of Refuge in Iraq by Sana Murrani, hosted at LSE until 12 May 2023. Using photographs, illustrative maps and drawings, Murrani examines the domestic and intimate spaces of refuge created by Iraqis in preparation for, and in response to, wartime and violence. This work is funded by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

Murrani will be joined by Ammar Azzouz and Dena Qaddumi in a broad-ranging discussion on the exhibition and her forthcoming book Rupturing architecture: spatial practices of refuge in response to war and violence in Iraq (Bloomsbury, 2024). Themes will include spatialities of domesticity and mobilities; the role of architecture and the built environment in understanding violence and trauma; deep-mapping and visual story-telling; and the role of diaspora populations in knowledge production on the Middle East.

The launch event will take place from 18:00 - 19:00, followed by a reception in the exhibition space until 20:00.

Ruptured Domesticity: Mapping Spaces of Refuge in Iraq is part of a wider programme of events at LSE marking the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Sana Murrani is an Associate Professor in Spatial Practice at the University of Plymouth. She studied architecture at Baghdad University School of Architecture at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sana completed her PhD in the UK. Sana’s main research falls within the fields of architecture, human geography and urban studies in particular, the imaginative negotiations of spatial practices and social justice. She is the founder of the Displacement Studies Research Network and co-founder of the Justice and Imagination in Global Displacement research collective.

Ammar Azzouz is a Research Associate at the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, and a Lecturer in Heritage Studies, at the School of Philosophy and Art History, University of Essex. He studied architecture in Homs, Syria, before moving to the UK to complete his PhD at the University of Bath. He is an editor at Arab Urbanism, and a collective member of City Journal. Azzouz has written several articles on Syria including A tale of a Syrian city at war, ‘I can smell Aleppo’, and 2011: Reflections on a ruined homeland. Between 2017 and 2022, he worked at Arup, London, on different projects related to inclusive environment, migration and cities, and urban violence. In 2020, he released several films on these themes including Questions of Memory and War and Cities Don’t Lie. He is the author of Domicide: Architecture, War and the Destruction of Home in Syria (Bloomsbury, 2023).

Dena Qaddumi is a Fellow in City Design and Social Science in the Department of Sociology at LSE. Her research spans architectural and urban studies and draws on postcolonial urban theory, political geography, and cultural studies. Her current work is concerned with how revolution is materialized in Tunis. Qaddumi has worked in architecture, urban planning, and higher education in New York, London, Palestine and Doha.

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Image: ©Ali Albaroodi