- Title: Art festival highlights Palestinians' 'right of return'
- Date: 25th October 2016
- Summary: JERUSALEM (RECENT) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF PALESTINIAN ART COURT, ALHOASH GALLERY / BANNER FOR 'REVIEWING JERUSALEM' ART TOUR AS PART OF QALANDIYA INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL BANNER FOR 'REVIEWING JERUSALEM' ART DIRECTOR OF ALHOASH GALLERY, ALIYA RAYAN, SPEAKING TO PARTICIPANTS OF ART TOUR / PEOPLE HOLDING PLANTS RAYAN SPEAKING TO ART TOUR PARTICIPANTS WOMEN LISTENING RAYAN WITH ART TOURISTS POSTERS FOR 'REVIEWING JERUSALEM' ON WALL (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF ALHOASH GALLERY, ALIYA RAYAN, SAYING: "What you see today here 'Reviewing Jerusalem' is the accumulation of all our efforts of two years, experience, learning, seeing what works out, what not." 'REVIEWING JERUSALEM' POSTER (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR OF ALHOASH GALLERY, ALIYA RAYAN, SAYING: "We are not working with the municipality together, so that is very important, and then already that means that working in public space becomes very difficult, because it will be easy to make a street festival, just closing the street and that's it. But that is not what we want to do. So, we are trying to engage people, trying to define what can be public spaces for us, even if we do not want to work with the municipality together." RAYAN AND ART TOURISTS OUTSIDE ADDAR MALL JERUSALEM'S OLD GATE, HEROD'S GATE SIGN AT ENTRANCE OF INDIAN COMMUNITY IN OLD CITY ART TOURISTS ENTERING INDIAN COMMUNITY IN OLD CITY (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST, MONICA, SAYING: "In the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, that public space is yes, frequent for business and for Souks (markets) and so on, but maybe not for performances. And I am so happy to be testimony (to witness) of this performance, really." VARIOUS OF MAN COOKING ON BRAZIER, ONE OF THE ART PIECES MADE FOR QALANDIYA INTERNATIONAL TOURISTS EATING
- Embargoed: 9th November 2016 10:22
- Keywords: art West Bank Jerusalem Ramallah Qalandia International festival Palestinian
- Location: JERUSALEM / RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: JERUSALEM / RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Reuters ID: LVA00155I3HAT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A bi-annual art festival in the Middle East is highlighting Palestinian people's 'right of return' and stirring new discussions on 'nakba' - or the catastrophe - when many Palestinians fled or were expelled from their towns and villages during the war of Israel's foundation in 1948.
The third edition of Qalandiya International (Qi) festival boasts participation of 16 cultural and art organizations and over 200 local and international artists and other contributors across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), organisers say.
Adopting the title 'The Sea is Mine', Qi2016 aims to emphasize the right of return for Palestinians to their homeland as presented through various artistic and cultural events and exhibitions across the region, including the West Bank, Jerusalem, Gaza and Haifa.
In Jerusalem, the Palestinian Art Court - al-Hoash held a tour in and around the old city as part of the festival.
During the artistic tour, visitors were introduced to various art projects displayed in public spaces along the way, which was an attempt to define what a public space meant for the people of Jerusalem.
"We are not working with the municipality together, so that is very important, and then already that means that working in public space becomes very difficult, because it will be easy to make a street festival, just closing the street and that's it. But that is not what we want to do. So, we are trying to engage people, trying to define what can be public spaces for us, even if we do not want to work with the municipality together," explained Aliya Rayan, director of the Palestinian Art Court - al-Hoash, a non-profit organization providing platforms for Palestinian artists.
One of the tour participants said she was happy to see Jerusalem's public spaces being used for art.
"In the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, that public space is yes, frequent for business and for Souks (markets) and so on, but maybe not for performances. And I am so happy to be testimony (to witness) of this performance, really," said Monica.
In the West Bank, an exhibition held at the Birzeit University Museum focuses on the Gaza Strip, the connection between the Strip and other Palestinian cities, as well as how the Palestinians interpret this connection.
"The idea (behind this exhibition) was that people would be able to see the Palestinian cities in a different way, through researching the history of these Palestinian cities, away from the known history of Palestine that is connected to the Nakba and Naksa and the history of the Palestinian resistance. (It focuses on) how we should be looking on the social history (of those cities) and the relation between people, nature, plants and different things and the things that people produce. These are the main subjects that the exhibit was based on," said Yazid Anani, curator of the exhibition, who is also the Director of the Public Programme at al-Qattan foundation which trains Palestinian art students for a year to present the history of the Palestinian Territories in a new way.
While Nakba refers to the first wave of Palestinian exodus in 1948, Naksa is the annual day of commemoration for the Palestinian displacement that accompanied Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Qalandiya International was founded in 2012 with an aim to "place Palestine on the world's culture map" and open up channels for dialogue and exchange, says its website.
'The Sea is Mine' runs from October 5-31.
The exhibition at Birzeit University Museum will be open to the public for another three months.
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