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Jury Biographies

Taysir Batniji

Born in Gaza in 1966, Taysir Batniji studied art at Al-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine. In 1994, he was awarded a fellowship to study at the School of Fine Arts in Bourges, France, and has developed a multimedia practice that includes drawing, installation, photography, video and performance.

Involved in the Palestinian art scene since the 1990s, Taysir has participated in exhibitions, biennials and residencies in Europe and across the world, the most recent being the “(Entre)voir” exhibition at the Eric Dupont Gallery, Paris, in early 2020.

Taysir was awarded the Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2012 and became the recipient of the Immersion residency programme, supported by the Hermes Foundation. His work is in the collections of prestigious institutions such as the Centre Pompidou and FNAC in France, the V&A and Imperial War Museum in London, Queensland Art Gallery in Australia, and the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi.



Khaled Hourani

Born in Hebron in 1965, Khaled Hourani is an artist, curator and art critic. He held the position of Artistic Director of the International Academy of Art – Palestine from 2007–2010, and was its General Director from 2010–2013. Between 2004–2006, he was the General Director of the Fine Arts Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Culture. Hourani has participated in many local and international art exhibitions, including most recently Dispersed Crowds at Zawyeh Gallery in Ramallah, Occupational Hazards at Apexart Gallery in New York, and at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan (2019); and Picasso and Spanish Exile in Toulouse, France (2018).

Hourani initiated the Picasso in Palestine project in 2011, and the Stone Distance to Jerusalem project in 2009, after winning the competition for the best logo design for Al Quds/Jerusalem as Arab Capital of Culture in 2009. He has organised and curated several exhibitions, most recently a retrospective for Samir Salameh in 2016. He is an active founder and member of several local and international cultural organizations. He was awarded the Creative Time for Art and Social Change prize in New York City in 2013, and has participated in art and cultural workshops and seminars locally and internationally, the most recent being the Cultural Summit in Abu Dhabi in 2019.





Samar Martha 

Samar Martha is founder and director of Gallery One in Palestine. She was a co-founder and director of ArtSchool Palestine until 2013, and one of the original founders of Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem. She has worked with Visiting Arts, London, on a range of projects across the Middle East, and has been writing, lecturing and curating exhibitions in the UK and abroad, with a particular focus on Palestinian and Middle Eastern contemporary art practices, including This Day at Tate Modern, London (2007); Still on Vacation at the Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo (2007); and Future Movements: Jerusalem at the Liverpool Biennial (2010).





Adania Shibli 

Adania Shibli is a writer of novels, plays, short stories and narrative essays. Her writing has been published in various anthologies, art books and literary and cultural magazines, in Arabic and in translation. She has twice been awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Writer's Award – in 2001 for her novel Masaas, translated into English as Touch (Northampton: Clockroot, 2009), and in 2003 for her novel Kulluna Ba’id bethat al Miqdar aan el-Hub, translated into English as We Are All Equally Far from Love (Northampton: Clockroot, 2012). Her latest novel is Tafsil Thanawi, published by Al-Adab, Beirut, 2017, and published in English as Minor Detail (London: Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020)

Her non-fiction books include Dispositions (Ramallah: A.M. Qattan Foundation, 2012), an art book exploring the element of movement in the works of contemporary Palestinian visual artists; and an edited collection of essays, A Journey of Ideas Across: In Dialog with Edward Said (Berlin: HKW, 2014).

Adania received her PhD from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of East London in 2009, and is actively engaged in academic research and teaching. Since 2013 she has been a visiting professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural studies, Birzeit University, Palestine.



Ala Alazzeh

Ala Alazzeh is an academic and assistant professor at Birzeit University, specialising in sociology and anthropology. He holds a PhD from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and is a faculty member at Birzeit University in Palestine where is currently the head of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Alazzeh was a fellow at the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton University. He is the recipient of the grant for three summer cycles based on his joint research project with Dr Rania Jawad from the English Language and Literature Department at Birzeit University entitled Translating Social Knowledge: Power Relations, Epistemology and Politics.

The author of a study in collaboration with Linda Tabar entitled Palestinian Popular Resistance under Occupation: A Critical and Analytical Reading, he has also published articles on Palestinian and other Arab cultural websites and platforms.



Fadya Salfiti              

Fadya Salfiti is the Advisory Committee Chairperson at the Creative Palestinian Communities Fund (Rawa). Born in Kuwait to parents originally from Nablus, she studied International Relations in San Francisco while working as a grassroots activist on women and youth empowerment, advocating for and working on a myriad of issues pertaining to the Palestinian cause. In 1992, she returned to Palestine and settled in Jerusalem, holding posts with several international, regional and Palestinian organisations, including the UNDP Rural Development Programme, the Italian Cooperation Agency, the Swedish International Development Agency, Tamer Institute for Community Education and the Palestinian Planned Parenthood Association, among others. Her experience with multiple developmental issues, her engagement with young people and her work with several organisations as a programme specialist on education, health and the Palestinian private sector have enabled Fadya to work on a wide range of cross-sectorial needs. 




Majd Nasrallah

Majd Nasrallah is an artist and cultural activist experienced in social activism and project management in both local and international civil society institutions and initiatives. He received his first degree in International Law and Human Rights from al-Quds University.

Until 2019, Nasrallah held the position of General Director of the Tishreen Association in al-Taybeh in al-Muthalat. Tishreen is a non-profit civil society association, founded in 2008 by a group of community activists from different political and social backgrounds. In 2019, Nasrallah took part in the UNIDEE residency programme in Italy for two months (September–November), which focusses on the relationship between collaborative artistic practices and the social and political transformations of society.