Between Cité des Arts and University of Ideas ... AMQF residencies offer spaces for young artists

Home In Qattan News Between Cité des Arts and University of Ideas ... AMQF residencies offer spaces for young artists

Every year, the Culture and Arts Programme (CAP) at A.M. Qattan Foundation offers opportunities for young Palestinian artists to participate in artist residencies in different parts of the world, such as the Cité Internationale des Arts residency for visual arts in Paris which was initiated in 2004 in partnership with Taawaon (Welfare Association), the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem. The Programme also collaborates with UNIDEE – University of Ideas of Citadellarte-Fondazione Pistolleto in Biella, Italy, to enable at least one Palestinian artist to participate in the residency programme annually.

The Programme particularly targets young Palestinian artists working in the visual arts field, by offering artist-in-residence opportunities each year; two of which are announced through an open-call, and one is open to YAYA participants only.

By the end of 2018, 28 visual artists had participated in those residencies, including the participants of the Young Artists of the Year Award (YAYA). In addition to fifteen artists from the fields of performing arts, literature and cinema as part of a partnership between the Foundation, Paris Municipality and the Consulate General of France in Jerusalem following the visit of the Mayor of Paris to the Foundation in 2011.


May Murad and her experience exiting Gaza

May Murad was born in Gaza in 1984, she receiver her BA in Art Education from al-Aqsa University in Gaza, and is currently preparing for her exhibition in France after attending the Cité des Arts residency in Paris for four months between December 2018 and April 2019.

Murad commented on why she applied to the artist residency programme: “The A.M. Qattan Foundation is known for its support of young people. Personally, I have had many experiences with al-Qattan in the past, which had a major impact and role on my career as an artist.” She also added: “Every artist likes to live this experience and seeks it to open up to the world and to see where art has arrived. It is through such experiences of cultural exchange that one gets visual nourishment, which benefits his/her artistic style and vision, this approach is basically a matter of change and development.”

As for her experience exiting the Gaza Strip, she said: “Getting out of Gaza was almost a miracle. I have tried everything before Paris to obtain a residency permit in Jordan, and you cannot easily get a permit to cross through the Erez checkpoint. The occupation authorities forced me to sign a paper that prevents me from returning to Gaza for a year. It took over three months to reach the stage of signing and exiting conditionally.”

On her experience in Paris, Murad also commented: ”In Gaza, the internet was our only window into the world, we watched all the world’s developments through it. Getting out turned everything virtual into a reality, I was able to interact with history and objects in the museums in person. In addition to interacting with a new life and a new culture. Such experiences affect you, and in turn, affect your production, one way or another.”

The project Murad is presenting during her artist residency is based around the idea of nostalgia; people’s relation to material objects that tie them to their countries. The project traces feelings of alienation in people living here, immersed in life.


Joulani: “An artist residency is a devotion to artistic production”

Mohammed Joualni was born in Jerusalem in 1983. He received his BFA from Al Quds University in 2009 where he taught visual arts between 2011 and 2013. He currently works as a freelance artist and a fine arts teacher at the Ramallah Friends school.

Joulani received the Higher Education Award in 2007, and the 2nd prize for the Ismail Shammout Fine Arts Award in 2016. He is a founding member of the Visual Artists Club in Jerusalem and has participated in numerous exhibition and festivals locally and internationally.

Joulani was an artist-in-residence in Cité Internationale des Arts in France between July and November 2018. On his experience at the residency, he commented: “The most important thing in this residency, in my opinion, is the ability to devote time to artistic work, research, reading and discussions, to develop works away from the usual daily preoccupations. This goes in line with the project I proposed for the residency, about people out of context, or, out of their usual geographic location. My solo exhibition, Normal Day, discussed the different feelings Palestinians experience in one day, and the aim of this residency was to develop this work, and represent these feelings outside the Palestinian context and outside geographical location in Palestine, and to discuss human suffering wherever it happens.”

He added: “I’m currently working on my project Out of Context, which is a result of this experience, it went through many phases of research and critique by friends, artists, academics and professionals in the field. The vision of the project matured and developed during my time at the residency, and now, after working on primary sketches to illustrate and develop the idea visually, I am working on finalizing this project in order to exhibit it next Summer.”


Shayma Nader’s residency at UNIDEE, Italy

Shayma Nader was born in Jerusalem in 1991. She completed her BA degree in contemporary visual arts from the International Academy of Arts – Palestine in 2015, and her MA in Global Cultural and Creative Industries from SOAS, University of London in 2017.

Nader participated in the University of Ideas (UNIDEE) residency between 17 September and 17 November 2018, which was founded by the renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto in 1999. UNIDEE is the educational postgraduate degree in art and social change of Citadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy.

The objective of the UNIDEE programme is to provide the participants with inspiration, motivation and instruments to activate or develop artistic initiatives based on the engagement of local ecologies. The programme is currently divided into UNIDEE Modules and UNIDEE Residencies, the residencies programme invites international artists to participate in artist residencies with the aim of supporting the practice of cultural operators coming from non-Western countries. 

In her work for the Open studios, Nader explored ways of conveying human experience through the instruments of sound and narration. This research has manifested itself in projects suggesting alternative realities and modifying ways of receiving and communicating experiences and collective knowledge. Nader wonders what a shared future would look like and how we can understand and recreate it including fragments of collective memory. The work When it Enfolds You looks into the experiencing of sounds that signal the beginning of an event, and make

its context visible. Which sounds are our ears attuned to? To what extent can our listening expand

within and without us to save us? Through a series of interviews and recordings, she analyses

moments that make our listening so attentive. From alarms to earthquakes, sounds can force our listening to move in preparation for what is coming.