Cities Exhibition is an ongoing series of exhibitions taking place at Birzeit University Museum, and offering variety of events to a diverse audience. The exhibition opens its doors for local and international artists, and curators. It draws attention to numerous and varied relationships amongst people, places and time. The exhibition is an experimental project based on contemporary art and cultural practices as means for an alternative production for knowledge, and promotion of change in societies. Cities Exhibition travels each year to a new space where there is a possibility for excavating or generating alterative narratives on and by Palestinian cities and people.
The project has since its inception in 2009 created a plethora of enriching experiences each time growing in vitality and shifting in its approach with an on-going open process for exploration and knowledge sharing. It is also an open source of opportunities to carry forth contemporary art and cultural practices to the Palestinian public.
The 5th Edition of Cities Exhibition, is an inquiry on the recurrent notion of destruction and re-construction as a systematic reinstitution of societies and subjugation of local modes of resistance. Gaza- Reconstruction, re-questions, whether the inevitable economic doctrine of re-construction, complements the perpetual Israeli military destruction of Gaza, by removing what is left of its social sphere and resilient communities, and replace them with a neo-corporate Gaza. Part of the programme of Qalandiya International 3, the 5th Edition investigates the dichotomy between the Palestinian political imagination of Gaza and the notion of reconstruction, in relationship with multiple dynamisms - the global and regional politics; the creation of new spaces for transnational neoliberal economy and global financial structures; the transformation of the Palestinian liberation project; the lack of intellectual and cultural imagination of the postliberation Palestine; and finally the dis/junction of the Palestinian archipelago. This year’s edition, falls into four chapters:
Chapter I – Research from Afar is a student based research carried through specialized experimental classes at both the International Academy of Art Palestine (IAAP) and Birzeit University - Department of Architecture (DA). Students have examined their position as researchers vis-à-vis the notion of a remote inquiry about Gaza.
Chapter II – Extended Geography is a collaborative research between students from IAAP, DA, and Eltiqa Group, as well as a collective by Mohammad Jabali, Rabia Salfiti, Rula Khoury. The chapter investigates Gaza from outside its confinement, covering Palestine 1948, the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Chapter III – An Eye from Outside is a group exhibition showcasing the works of 7 artists and collectives. A forum for film screenings, talks and readings is designed as a social space amidst artworks. The exhibition evokes a continuous conversation about Gaza between the audience, artworks, and the forum’s programme.
Chapter IV – Book of Re-Construction Edited book that accommodates the research material, and the work produced in the aforementioned chapters.
Curated by Yazid Anani
Artists: Mohamed Abusal, Khaled Jarrar, Oraib Toukan, Wafa Hourani, Ghazi Barakat, Nida Sinnokrot, Mohammad Jabali, Rabia Salfiti, Hamido Shatara
Collectives: DAAR (Alessandro Petti & Sandi Hilal), Studioazue, group28 (Lana Judeh & Yara Saqfalheit), Ramallah Cinema Club (Salim Abu-Jabal, Palestine Regeneration Team - PART (Nasser Golzari & Yara Sharif)
Curators: Rula Khouri, Mohammed Al Hawajri, Tina Sherwell
Speakers: Asef Bayat, Salim Tamari, Raja Khalidi, Abaher El-Sakka, Adania Shibli, Vivien Sansour, Samir Harb, Anjad Hithnawi, Dana Erekat
Students from Birzeit University, Department of Architecture: Abdulmajeed Al-Hindi, Amneh Khrais, Aseel Khalaileh, Fadel Al-Marbou, Isra Harfoush, Nayef Zayed, Suhair Jarayseh, Taline Saliba, Wissam Sharabati
Students from the International Academy of Art Palestine: Amani Yaqob, Dalia Boukhari, Hadeel Qutna, Hamza Amleh, Lara Hodaly, Noor Abu- Hashhash, Waseem Makhlouf, Yusor Hamed, Noora Said
Participants through Eltiqa Group- Gaza: Amira Hamdan, Dua’ Kishta, Hala Abu Nahle, Khader Alkurd, Manal Edeeb, Mohammad Al-Imrani, Mo’in Al-Susi, Safa’ Abu-Dalu, Sharifa Al-Ghusein, Somaya Al-Aqra
Participants from DESIGN STUDIO 22 - University of Westminster: Claudia Turton, Dean Robson Van Der Vord
This project is supported by AFAQ: the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation- Regional Office Palestine, CKU: center for culture and development and DHIP: Danish house in Palestine. And in partnership with: A. M. Qattan center for the child, Gallery One, and Ihouse. And in collaboration with Architecture Department at Birzeit University, International Academy of Art – Palestine, DAAR: Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Eltiqa Group for Contemporary Art, Qalandia International, Group28, Studioazue, Ramallah Cinema Club, Westminster University