I & R16 Myths & Facts13 (story) Loading...12 Fayen d'Evie12 Video12 Crisis10 Text10 Reproductions9 Improvements8 Listening8 Sound8 Poetry7 Memory7 Photography7 Favourable Conditions7 Performing the Archive6 Sculpture6 Points of Connection6 Environment6 a border can have no boundaries6 Fandom5 Sincerely Yours5 Casual-Paradise5 Painting5 to listen, not to preserve5 Installation5 writing4 Language4 Archives4 The Anti-Shock Doctrine4 interview4 Labour3 House of Mother Tongue, House of Other Tongue3 Artist Walks3 Record3 Performance3 Augury – The diary of birds3 Pandemic3 Precarity2 Textile2 read2 music2 Paradise2 Gentrification2 Community2 Essay2 fiction2 WS × Social Studio2 listen2 Productivity1 Description1 Angna Mein1 watch1 Anna Dunnill | Processing Plant1 vampires1 Translation1 augury1 The Region1 choreography1 TERRA: Memory & Soil1 Improvisation1 talking1 Surprised face; Heart eyes1 movement1 documentation1 dust1 Sex1 interpretation1 scores1 exhibition1 Politics1 spoken word1
Leila el Rayes

I have been working with a group of writers and creatives for many months now, for West Space’s online platform OFFSITE. 

With my invitation to be a part of this collection, I asked Shareeka, Sofiyah, Hana and Tabitha to respond to the theme of ‘Casual-Paradise’ in any way they felt drawn to. I settled on the theme not long after the last lockdown of 2021, awoken serendipitously by a recommended YouTube video at 3am. 


What does paradise look like to you?

For me, it’s laughter around a dinner table. 


Then I wondered what others imagined it to be. 


Contributions to this issue of OFFSITE are imaginative as such. They are diaristic and personal, portals to other worlds inside and beyond. With lightness and lucidity, their authors present us with recurring themes of grief, friendship, utopia, healing and the reciprocity of interior and exterior worlds, in combination, in allyship, in secret, in spite of each other.  

As a project that has rumbled along for many months, it feels strange to make it publicly known without acknowledging how recent times have been curdled with grief in my community. At the time of publishing, the notion of paradise is entwined with connotations of the afterlife. 


To our friends 



in between 

and those travelling endlessly everywhere

Leila el Rayes’ work celebrates vulnerability between melding identities and contexts. Working across sculpture, costume-making performance and video, their practice delves into ideas of hardship, desire and uncertainty to uncover moments of intricacy, fragility and beauty.


*This iteration of West Space OFFSITE has been realised with technical and editorial support from Louis Graham and Leila Doneo Baptist