Titled Under Construction, Palestinian-Flemish Cultural Week is Launched
In the Belgian city of Ghent, the Palestinian-Flemish Cultural Week, titled Under Construction, was launched. The County of Flanders comprises the largest area and population in the Kingdom of Belgium.
The Under Construction Festival is organised by the A. M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) and Connexion vzw (Brussels) under the aegis of the Government of Flanders, Mission of Palestine in Europe, Belgium, and Luxemburg.
Joint Palestinian-Flemish cultural events are divided into two phases: from 16 to 25 February 2018 in the Belgian city of Ghent, and from 2 to 11 May 2018 in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
In his opening remarks at the festival, Mahmoud Abu Hashhash, Director of the AMQF Culture and Arts Programme, said: “The working relationship between the AMQF and Connexion vzw shows a model of distinctive cultural and human contact between Palestine and Belgium. For more than a decade, it has conveyed the message of Palestinian innovators and intellectuals to broad spaces in Belgium and across Europe.” Abu Hashhash concluded that “Palestinian intellectuals’ message to the public in Europe is one of civilisational openness and dialogue. It is also a message of perseverance and resistance.”
Hildegard De Vuyst, Program Manager of Connexion vzw, said she was pleased to see this festival, which sums up the experience of a joint cultural activity with the AMQF. For more than 12 years, this collaboration has allowed to present creative activities, jointly designed and curated by Palestinian and Belgian artists. These reflect artistic and human bonds between intellectuals in both countries.
Under the theme Disarming Design from Palestine, the opening ceremony featured exhibits of the Palestinian culture with a view to changing the prevailing media image of the Palestinian society.
Rimah Jabr and Belgian decoratelier Jozef Wouters will present a 15-minute theatrical performance, titled Infini #5.
Events also involve film screenings, including Ghost Hunting by Palestinian director Raed Andoni, and documentary What Happened in the Tent by Palestinian filmmaker Majd Khalifeh and Belgian artist Roel Nollet.
Palestine is represented by a number of writers and artists, who present works that reflect Palestinian contemporary art. Some works were produced jointly with Flemish artists. Exhibits illustrate Palestinian culture and illustrate real life in Palestine. Evens also include lectures, video installations, audiovisual works, and graphics. Cities Exhibition: Gaza Reconstruction by Palestinian curator Yazid Anani is another item.
Palestinian participations also feature readings of works authored by playwright Dalia Taha; a dance performance by Barges Samahneh and Kojack Kossakamvwe; Running Away, a performance by Yazan Ewidat and Hamza Damra; Working Heart, a play by Atta Nasser; The Rooster, a dance performance by Malek Andary and Ata Khatab; and Other Places, a play by Bashar Murkus in collaboration with Khashabi Theatre and the Palestinian National Theatre El Hakawati.
Radio No Frequency is an onstage radio show by Lama Rabah, Zina Zarour, Faris Shomali, and Henna al-Hajj Hasan in collaboration with Thomas Devos, Kaat Arnaert, and Mattijs Vanderleen.
For more information, please visit the Under Construction Festival website: http://www.underconstructionfestival.org/