Al Qattans opens the “Saqf el-Balad: X for Seeing” exhibition in Ni’lin
On Saturday, 13 April 2019, the Educational Research and Development Programme (ERDP) of the A.M. Qattan Foundation opened the “Saqf al-Balad: X for Seeing” exhibition in Ni’lin.
This exhibition is part of the Culture, Art and Community Participation project implemented by the programme in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The exhibition presents artworks that examine community and social issues, produced by a group of young residents from Ni’lin guided by the foundation’s researchers and a group of artists. Over three years, and after a series of discussions, social inquiry and artistic experimentations, participants engaged in an accumulative process of rethinking their surroundings, forming different points of view on social issues through research and discussing their opinions with people in order to re-present them to the community as artworks that express their vision and exemplifies the research done during the project.
Malik al-Rimawi, Manager of the ERDP Languages and Humanities Track said, “This exhibition is a manifestation of a project concerned with the public space, art and people, language and memory. It is a translation of life as a prolonged moment in which the present recognises its past and predicts and invents its future. It is an exhibition and a practice in art as a way of seeing and observing.”
“The exhibition was developed through Parallelly both research and art making. The project’s participants started with taking walks around the town to research social issues and practices happening around them, then they return to the meeting hall to discuss how to present the issue to people, and realize that their research is incomplete. So, they go back researching and looking for information no one knows, which drives their artistic process under the guidance of the artists, then return again to the hall to create a more comprehensive vision about the issue and translate it into an artwork. In order to deepen understanding of the relationship between research and art, it was essential to document each participant’s experience through writing and expressing their growing awareness of what is happening under saqf el-balad (the town’s limit). This thread connects all issues explored by the exhibition from the limited spaces in which girls can ride their bikes, to the walls limiting prisoners freedom, the boundless flight of the other, to lives threatened and limited by unregistered vehicles on the road, to limited and decaying green spaces under intensive urbanization, to other limits defined by saqf el-balad.” He added.
The opening was attended by families, students and institutions from Ni’lin and neighboring villages, who are involved in a continual discussion through a series of events related to the exhibition.
These events include a screening of “The Crossing Point”, school visits to facilitate discussions about the screening, in addition to a teachers meeting to enhance their students’ understanding of social issues and help them develop a similar experience within their schools.
The exhibition runs until 30 April 2019, and is open to visitors daily from 11am-4pm except Friday and Sunday.