The A.M. Qattan Foundation Publishes the YAYA 2018 Catalogue Entitled “We Shall be Monsters”
The A.M. Qattan Foundation recently published a catalogue documenting the tenth round of the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA) for the year 2018 under the title “We Shall be Monsters”. The catalogue was edited and designed by the curator and writer Alaa Younis.
The 239-page catalogue was published in both Arabic and English and was printed at the Alpha Studio Press in the city of Al-Ram. It contains a number of important written contributions including: an essay entitled “Unbelievable Things” in which the artist and curator of the first and second rounds of the award, Khaled Hourani, talks about the beginnings of the award and the impact it accumulated over the years; “Palestiniannes” by Alaa Younis who addresses the issue of the complexity of the Palestinian identity, and how it reflects itself on the works of the artists participating in the award; and an article entitled "With Minimal Force" by the author and art critic Adania Shibli, in which she discusses the forms of playing and cunning as a method used by many Palestinian artists to confront political repression.
In the section "Questions to Artists," the curator and writer Hanan Touqan holds a dialogue with some participating artists about the development of the award since its inception and the nature of the art production process in Palestine.
The curator of the YAYA 2018, the artist Emily Jacir presents the methodology she followed with the artists to develop their works over a period of ten months., This included several seminars, dialogues, workshops, film screenings and tours, in addition to establishing an artistic supervision programme to connect the participants with a number of artists who participated in previous rounds of the YAYA, with the aim of encouraging dialogue and exchange of knowledge between different generations.
Ten Palestinian artists from occupied Palestine and the exile participated in the tenth round of the award; Dima Srouji, Dina Mimi, Safaa Khateeb, Ola Zaitoun, Alaa Abu Asaad, Firas Shehadeh, Leila Abdelrazaq, Haitham Haddad, Walid Al Wawi, and Yusef Audeh.
The catalogue also contains the Jury Statement, descriptions of the artworks, the artists’ bios, and images documenting artworks and the production and research phases. In addition to the documentation of the award’s exhibition also titled “We Shall be Monsters” which was held, for the first time, in the foundation’s new Cultural Centre in Al-Tira, Ramallah.
Among the contributors to the catalogue were Shadi Baker who coordinated the process; Dalia Taha, Doaa Ali and Ali Yass who translated the texts between Arabic and English; and Raoof Haj Yahya who did many of the photography works in the catalogue. The copy editor of the Arabic version was Abed Al-Rahman Abu Shammaleh, And the English version copy editors were Nicola Gray and Marguerite Debaie.
The foundation also published the catalogue of the Young Artist of the Year Award 2016 titled “Pattern Recognition,” documenting the experience of the award and its exhibition. It was edited by the curator and writer Nat Muller in cooperation with Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, and designed by Alaa Khanger.
The catalogue includes a number of written essays; the first was by Nat Muller, who as the curator of this round, wrote a contribution entitled "Pattern Recognition: An Introduction", in which she touches on her work experience in this version of YAYA and the challenges of working within the context of Qalandiya International 2016, which adopted “Return” as a theme for its third edition. She also comments in her article on the participating artworks. In an article entitled “Between Algiers and Oslo: The Sensibility of Inertia in YAYA2016,” Chrisoula Lionis tries to read the artworks participating in the award within the political context imposed by the Oslo Accords on the Palestinian reality. Another exciting contribution that took the form of an e-mail dialogue between Chiara de Cesari and Lara Khaldi, is entitled "Patterns of Memory", through which they exchanged their interlocking opinions about their visit to the "Pattern Recognition" exhibition, focusing mainly on memory and the political self, and their personal relationship to artworks and the wider cultural context in Palestine today.
The last contribution is by Shuruq Harb, entitled “Breaking the Pattern: Reflections on the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA) 2000-2016,” in which she follows the journey of this award in its eight editions over the past 16 years since it first started in 2000.
The catalogue, which was published in both Arabic and English, also includes the Jury Statement and thorough information about the artworks, the participating artists, jury members, and contributors, in addition to images documenting the artworks.
With these two catalogues, the Culture and Arts Programme has published ten catalogues and art books that document in detail the experience of the Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA) in its ten rounds. The programme aiming for the coming round of the YAYA to be a stop for reflection about the experience, to carry it forward, and to be able to respond to the challenges, needs and questions that the next stage holds.