Al Qattan and Riwaq launch the “Artist Residencies Trail” in ad-Dhahiriya
Ramallah – (A.M. Qattan Foundation 11/3/2019):
A.M. Qattan Foundation and Riwaq- Centre for Architectural Conversation, in collaboration with adh-Dhahiriya Municipality, announced the launch of the Artist Residencies Trail in adh-Dhahiriya.
The announcement came during a recent group visit to adh-Dhahiriya organised by both Al Qattan and Riwaq, during which the town, municipality, old town and the hostel were explored.
During the programme, which will run from the 10th of March until the 30th of April, 7 artist residencies for 8 Palestinian artists from different disciplines will be organised. The participating artists are Mohammed Saleh Khalil, Salim Abu Jabal, Bassel Naser, Raouf Haj Yehya, Rima Issa, Issa Ghreib, Rana Bishara and Fidaa Ataya.
Each artist will stay for a period of 2-7 days at “The Guesthouse” in adh- Dhahiriya and will meet with a group of residents based on his/her speciality. At the end of each residency, a collective artwork will be produced in collaboration with the participants.
“These projects and artworks are among the best of what we can offer to the town,” Mayor of adh-Dhahiriya, Rateb Sabbar, said welcoming the group, “they expose the youth and residents to unfamiliar cultural programmes, through organising cultural and artistic projects. We thank A.M. Qattan Foundation for its interest in such matters. Out of our strong conviction of the importance of these residencies, the municipality will invest all its efforts to support and ensure their success.”
Ad-Dhahiriya was chosen as a site for the residencies for its historical and archaeological landmarks, and its marginalization due to its geographic distance from the cultural and political centre.
“Adh- Dhahiriya is one of 50 villages Riwaq is working on, with the aim of connecting them to the surrounding archaeological areas as part of its mission to connect those areas and challenge their fragmentation through heritage and identity. Therefore, the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s initiative “Artist Residencies Trail” was supportive of this approach.” Shatha Safi, co-director of Riwaq commented.
Mohammed Saleh, a participating artist in the residencies trail said, “A recurring question has always been; how can we as Palestinian artists be present in Palestinian villages? Who can provide this experience for us in forgotten Palestinian geographies to study and draw? This is what the trail provides. It is finally possible for Palestinian artists to know their people, and to interact emotionally and communally in this local residency and give more loyally.”
Johnny Kort, the Artist Residencies Trail coordinator added, “There’s a knowledge and cultural concentration in areas that present themselves as central, and because culture is not exclusive to anyone, nor to a specific area, the project focused on marginal areas. This was not our first experience, we did a project in 'Asira al-Shamaliya in Nablus previously, and this year adh- Dhahiriya was chosen. The nomination was welcomed by artists, who will work, in turn, on doing workshops and producing artworks in collaboration with local residents. This is a chance for adh- Dhahiriya to present itself on the cultural scene and to contribute to knowledge production in Palestine.”
The Artist Residencies Trail programme aims at challenging the “centralization” of cultural production, through relocating it from main urban centres to marginalized communities. Moreover, the programme aims to direct cultural and intellectual investment to those areas, in order to plants the seeds of cultural change in society. This programme targets towns’ residents and is held in collaboration with Riwaq – Centre for Architectural Conservation to provide the spaces in which these residencies are held.