Conversations in a Beehive

Text and drawings

Variable dimensions


Conversations in a Beehive is a project interested in the status of domestic labor that exists as invisible, unpaid, and unequally distributed work within household structures. It approaches the discourse around the social perception of domestic work and the recognition of domestic spaces as sites of labor. Not only does one exert considerable amounts of physical effort on a daily basis but it also extends to include substantial mental and emotional effort/drill. Both of which consume a lot of time and energy affecting the productivity of women.

The research takes the working middle-class family as a case study to position the domestic establishment within the wider economic context that is constituted by capitalism. The structure, dynamics, and roles of the family members act as the key aspects in shaping the project. While the artist questions the definition of ‘labor ’if it is known as how much time is worth and can be compensated by money, then how it is being spent and valued in the context of domestic chores and the art field.

The project takes the diaries of a mother artist as a starting point. It includes to-do lists, sketches, dialogues, and conversations between family members, friends and relatives even with her child which reflects a collective learning methodology of bottom-up-knowledge. Through writing personal texts as diary entries that are based on actual conversations, discussing the value and position of different members of the family through different approaches and perspectives.


The project is funded by Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center as part of "Artist At Work" exhibition which can be viewed  here 

 © 2020 by Rania Atef 

 Cairo, Egypt

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     Rania ATEF