Ghalia Elsrakbi (1978, Damascus) and Lauren Alexander (1983, Cape Town) are graphic designers and policy researchers who together form the Foundland collective. The duo uses the discipline of graphic design as a research tool in political and social developments. Particulary interested in speculation, they surmise about images and their meanings to offer an alternative perspective.
Attracted by the freedom and democracy that is to enjoy in the Netherlands, together they obtained a Masters degree in Design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Both artists share a fascination for stories from Syria and South Africa, but also relate to the political situation in the Netherlands.
Since 2009 they have been working on projects about being stateless. The name Foundland became a way of thinking about how to find a land and to create a space that they could use as a platform. For them, space is related to political scenarios. In 2011 Foundland’s focus shifted to the Middle East and the Arab Spring. Together the two started to archive observations from media and social media trends of political expression.
The Foundlanders turn their projects into understandable communication products which show up in the public domain of traditional media, such as advertising and printing as well as regular art spaces. With their autonomous work, they reach new and uncharted territory within their disciplines. Since their cooperation, Elsrakbi and Alexander focus on self-initiated investigations in cooperation with cultural institutions, museums and for educational purposes.