Mahallat el-Ghouta94, Block 8, District 4
How to visit
Entered from Piazza Fiume or via Gazzata
Park opening hours:
1 May – 30 September: 7am – 12am
1 October – 30 April: 7am – 8pm
The fountain’s jet will be activated on Sundays at the following times:
May – September: 11am – 11.30am and 6pm – 6.30pm
October – April: 11am – 11.30am and 4pm – 4.30pm
The fountain Mahallat el-Ghouta 94, Block 8, District 4 is part of The Fountains of Za’atari, a project by Margherita Moscardini, presented by Collezione Maramotti in collaboration with the Municipality of Reggio Emilia in April 2019.
The work is modelled on the 32nd of over 60 courtyards with fountains documented by the artist inside the Za’atari refugee camp, reproduced in 1:1 scale and displayed tilted, as an object that is separate from the ground.
The Za’atari refugee camp was founded in 2012 in northern Jordan to house Syrians fleeing conflict, and is one of the largest camps in the world both in terms of area and population. Over time, the residents spontaneously recreated the traditional layout of the Arabic house, placing shipping containers like rooms around a void, to form a central courtyard. Some people chose to create a fountain in this space.
In an Arabic home, the courtyard with its fountain is a semi-public space that acts as a connection between the private dimension of the house and the street, the city and the world outside. In Europe, meanwhile, fountains tend to be public and monumental. When a Za’atari courtyard is reproduced in Europe, the private aspect it embodies, the private Za’atari square and the condition of the person who built it become public.
Moscardini’s idea is that the sculptures based on the courtyards with fountains in Za’atari should receive special jurisdiction that includes elements of extraterritoriality, which over time would qualify them as accessible objects and spaces detached from the territorial sovereignty of the country in which they are located, thereby embodying the condition of stateless persons, whose right to reside is due to their not belonging to the land.
The Fountains of Za’atari aims to establish a system through which local governments or civic institutions can purchase the fountains for display in public spaces across Europe. The designer of the fountain will benefit directly from the sale, thereby helping to support the camp’s economy.
The Fountains of Za’atari was first launched in 2015, based on research into refugee camps as urban spaces that are destined to last.