Old Commercial Press, The Jerusalem Show VIII, 2016. Photo by Issa Freij. Courtesy of Al Ma’mal Foundation
Looking at the Palestinian side – every two years the Qalandiya International Festival of Contemporary Art (QIF) takes place. Part of it is The Jerusalem Show which is organised by the Al Ma’mal Art Foundation.
The name Qalandiya comes from a refugee camp and checkpoint on the border between Israel and the West Bank. But the festival crosses borders : expanding from Ramallah to Jerusalem, from Gaza up to Haifa and spreading over to Amman, Beirut until London. Qalandiya is a place, symbol of isolation, disconnection and fragmentation. Yet, the QIF challenges this separation in a positive way, by unifying the fragmented geography through visual art/ culture exhibitions and events. It offers a platform for Palestinians abroad and in their home-country to be seen and heard, should it be in the Haifa exhibition “People from the Sea“, “The Sea is Mine” in Gaza or in The Jerusalem Show (JS)… Continue reading →
Even though money and infrastructure for art and culture is not flooding, an independent initiative of Jerusalem-based artists (Lee he Shulov and Rinat Edelstein) opens since 9 years the exhibition season with the Manofim Festival.
The festival manages to create a platform of dialogue and collaboration between artists and Jerusalem’s galleries, alternative art spaces and independent cultural centres. In it’s unique way, Manofim gives the public an impressive insight into the rich and mixed art world of Jerusalem.
It is not surprising that the Muslala group, a non-profit organisation connecting art with social emerged 2009 in Musrara, a neighbourhood which has been full of controversies throughout history:
An aristocratic Arabic neighborhood until the fightings in 1948, in the 1950’s populated with immigrants from North Africa and Iraq, considered as a dangerous quarter for its proximity to the border and becoming a kind of slum. Then in the 1970’s the birth place of the Israeli Black Panthers mouvement, protesting against unequality between Ashkenzai and Mizrahi Jews. With artists and art places moving there (like schools and galleries) the situation has changed and Musrara is now a cool place to live in.
Still, the first time I meet Muslala, it is on the rooftop of a shopping mall (Clal Building) close to the Machane Yehuda Market. Continue reading →
In an ancient, abandoned house in a side street of Jerusalem, unseen from the main road you bump into „HaMiffal“ (The Factory/ The Endeavor), a project of the artist collective „Bait Rek“(Empty House). When entering this old building you can’t really define what place this is. In some way it looks private while at the same time it seems to be a communal working place…
After finishing my Bachelor in Art Studies in Montpellier, south France, I decided to go on the ground to see what the art world and its structures are in daily life. I had for this the occasion to live one year in Jerusalem and am now living in Aarhus, Denmark.
It is important for me to learn to change my European point of view and to be more international like the art world is today.
I started with the Near East, or more specific Jerusalem for its mixity in people and cultures. The conflict in this area makes regularly the headlines, but rarely we hear about the beautiful ideas growing there. This blog wishes to show the other side of Israeli and Palestinian people. To share the beauty that there is beyond the surface in this region and in other parts of the world.
I hope you enjoy…
For any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me.