The exhibition explores the urban and, more specifically, the Modern history of Palestine omitted from the recent political definition of what ‘Palestine’ actually is.
The Archeological sites, ethnic fundamentalism and religious identities became the sole reference for determining what is considered ‘National’ in Palestine; such is the case of Roman Sebastiaya, and the Umayyad and Mamluki ruins in Jerusalem. View of the strong connections that were established between Arab cities during the 50s and 60s, the Modern project that existed in Palestine under the Jordanian rule constituted an example for a diverse urban lifestyle promoting an exemplary and inclusive urban environment, and a sphere for social continuity.
The Modern project at the time created a well- connected society that reflected upon an approach specific to innovative Modern aesthetics and dynamism; where cinemas, schools, hotels, boulevards, and cafés became landmarks of the thriving intellectual social landscape of these cities accompanying the political lounges and intellectual cafes that enforced the Modern aspects of the city.
Worth noting here that Ramallah stands out as a distinct model to the Modern logic behind the urbanization of the city. Ramallah is currently depicted as an edifice for a visual remodeling carried out by the institutions of the administrative Authority through the practice of urban planning and architecture. Policies of the construction of the Neoliberal state are established on reinventing a history of the city for the purpose of glorifying the advent of the Palestinian Authority, and constructing a new representation for the architectural structure, thus insinuating an illusory victory for the struggle for liberation. To this end, the city has been subject to constant and continuous erasure of its historical edifices. A large portion of its few modern edifices such as cinemas, bars, hotels and houses were destroyed and replaced by commercial centers and business towers.
Ramallah’s growing consumer society that witnessed transformations in its role in social and political change lacks the motivation to show an appreciation to urban heritage, particularly that of the Modern era. As a result, there have been no serious attempts to preserve this valuable heritage as a true testimony to the historical era of the 50s and 60s under the Jordanian rule.
Participating Students: Ghadeer Atallah , Amani Awad, Sondus Sha’lan, Muhamad Al Alameh, Muhamad Al Sheakh, Khaldon Al Ewewi ,Abed Al Karem, Anas Awad, Al Hareth Rumanh, Rania Arar, Rola Al Kalili, Sondus Ddu, Rud Hasasneh , Asma’ Nemer, Sondus Khater , Eslam Shaheen ,Louy Saber ,Husam Abu Salem ,Husam Damrah ,Janan Harbawi, Sandi Rashmawi, Rawan Shalaldeh, Hanen Jaber ,Raneen Abu Qwik, Buthayna Badha , Jafar Qubha, Muna Shtaya ,Hadeel Mustafa, Nadia Eseli , Mai Madi , Ata’ Naser,Maryna Kileh.
Assistant Curators: Dana Abbas, Rana ABo Ghanam, Fa'eq Miri
Location of Exhibition: Birzeit University Museum.Main Gallery