Home A M Qattan Foundation Media News The Foundation Shortlists Nine Palestinian Artists for YAYA 2016 and Announces Nat Muller as the Curator

The Foundation Shortlists Nine Palestinian Artists for YAYA 2016 and Announces Nat Muller as the Curator

The Foundation’s Culture and Arts Programme welcomes Nat Muller to the team as curator of the Young Artist of the Year Award’s 9th edition. Nat is an independent curator and critic who specialises in contemporary art from the Middle East. Among other achievements, she was selected to be the Guest Curator for the 2012 Abraaj Group Art Prize and co-curated the Stedelijk Museum’s ‘Global Collaborations’ project in 2014/2015 in Amsterdam and Beirut. A regular contributor to international art publications, Nat Muller is a contributing editor at Ibraaz and has edited numerous monographs and catalogues. She has also taught at universities and academies in The Netherlands and the Middle East.


The curator was asked to formulate this year’s call for applications within the context of the 2016 Qalandiya International’s theme of re-imagining the artistic conceptualisation of ‘Return’, titled “This Sea is Mine”. Artists were invited to examine the related notions of repetition, recurrence, patterns, rhythm, rehearsal and movement, as form and as an imaginary. The call was designed to attract unconventional proposals that dare to break loose from nostalgia and traditional iconography, and embrace the fantastical and the aspirational.


Nat Muller and two other jury members examined dozens of applications from young Palestinian artists and selected nine for the shortlist: Asma Ghanem (Ramallah/Toulouse), Aya Kirresh (Jerusalem), Inas Halabi (Jerusalem), Ruba Salameh (Nazareth), Somar Sallam (Syria/Algeria), Abdallah Awwad (Nablus), Majd Masri (Ramallah), Majdal Nateel (Gaza), Noor Abed (Ramallah/New York).



The Young Artist of the Year Award (YAYA), named after the late artist Hassan Hourani, is considered one of the most important biennial events in the visual arts scene in Palestine. Distinguished Palestinian and internationally renowned artists, curators, commentators and professionals in the fields of culture and the visual arts have been invited to Palestine to participate in the Award’s selection committees and juries.


The Award is open to Palestinian artists, regardless of their place of residence, between the ages of 22 and 30 who work in any area of the visual arts. In 2008, it was decided that artists from the occupied Golan Heights within the same age group would also be eligible.


The artists selected by the jury as the first, second, and third place winners receive a total amount of US$12,000 in prize awards.


The Foundation continues its engagement with the YAYA finalists by generating opportunities for international residencies and offering support for producing and exhibiting their work both locally and internationally.