168.01 Exhibition by Wafaa Bilal
March 2016 – Present
168:01 is a participatory project rebuilding the fine arts library at the University of Baghdad. In its first phase, the project crowdsourced the resources to collect 1600 books from around the world, raised the money to rebuild the students reading room into a contemporary, functional space for learning and managed the process of getting the books and resources into Iraq and to the University of Baghdad. As of March 2018, 1600 books are currently residing in a beautiful room remodeled by the students. Plans for the next phases of the project are under discussion. I continue to collaborate with Wafaa and other people from around the globe to co-create this project under Wafaa’s vision and leadership.
Facebook Page Manager – Created and maintain the page, write posts, share images and albums, manage paid ads
Marketing/Outreach materials – Develop/create email signatures, press-release, blog posts, postcards, social media posts including video posts
Kickstarter Campaign Updates – Managed Kickstarter updates by creating unique written and digital communication for backers of the 168:01 The Next Chapter
Solicit Book Donations – Contact potential donors via email, phone, and in-person to facilitate book donations. Donation pickup, catalog, and value donations, and prepare international shipments
Narrative Development – Based on Wafaa’s views and ways of creating and relating, I have been given freedom to co-creatively develop the stories I tell on social media, in communications with donors, in marketing materials, etc. For our 2018 collaboration, we are interested in further developing the narrative and practices of bringing the students and programs we are supporting in conversation with the larger contemporary art world. We are also interested in digging deeper into looking at the project through the lens of Relational Aesthetics.
Statement from Wafaa Bilal on working with Christine on Phase 1 of 168:01:
I worked with Christine Donley closely on my participatory installation titled “168:01” for the majority of 2016. In short, the project required making connections with people all across the globe and sourcing funding and donations of art books to replace the destroyed library of the University of Baghdad’s College of Fine Arts. Though she was only working as a volunteer at the time, she threw herself into the project and adopted it as her own. She diligently updated the project’s social media pages and reached out to college libraries, individuals and organizations to encourage them to support the project, which resulted in many large donations and quality partnerships. She was always prompt with correspondence, full of great ideas on how to reach more people, and generally a pleasure to work with. In addition, I found Christine to be very thoughtful and culturally aware, giving her the unique ability to build bridges between all different kinds of people. She was an invaluable asset to my project, and I would absolutely hire her again in the future. – Wafaa Bilal, Artist/Associate Arts Professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.