Presentation Disarming Design from Palestine at International Academy of Arts, Palestine. Photo: Mirte van Duppen
International Academy of Arts Palestine presents Disarming Design for Palestine during Qalandiya International
IAAP, Ramallah, 27 October – 15 November 2014
Qalandiya International (QI) is a biennial event that takes place across Palestinian cities, towns, and villages. It focuses on exhibiting contemporary Palestinian and international art, highlighting valuable architectural sites, and includes talks, walks and performances. As part of the participation and presentation of the International Academy of Art Palestine, the academy presented Disarming Design from Palestine with our newest array of objects.
At the historic room at the entrance of the Academy in Ramallah we presented our collection of designs, that were also available for purchase. A video by Ali Aldeek gave insight in the processes and dynamics of the create shop during which the designs are developed, and exchange with the artisans takes place.
Al Quds Newspaper, 27 October 2014
Tulab Press, 28 October 2014
The students of the International Academy of Arts organised a collaborative event with preparing maftoul, and alongside we opened our exhibition.
Qalandia International 2014
Qalandiya International (Qi) was founded in 2012 as a joint contemporary art event that takes place every two years across Palestinian cities and villages. Qi aims to place Palestine on the world’s cultural map by producing a series of exhibitions, as well as performances, talks, film screenings, workshops and tours, that open up channels for dialogue and exchange, both locally and internationally. As a partnership between art and culture organizations, Qi works collectively to join forces to unify a fragmented geography. The second edition of Qalandia International in 2014 featured works by over 100 Palestinian and international artists, collated in a series of newly commissioned art projects under the theme Archives, Lived and Shared, highlighting the role of archives in shaping Palestine’s past and present: “Over the years, Palestinian heritage has been repeatedly subjected to upheaval, uprooting, and even looting and theft. This means that for decades, questions concerning the roles played by archives, what they preserve, and who has ownership of them have been hotly contested. Arguably, the archival process has a key part to play in gathering the threads of Palestine’s past and present and shaping its future; it is for this reason that Qalandiya International has chosen the topic of archives, their role in the formation and preservation of national identity, and the importance of public access to them as the underlying theme of this year’s festival.”
Half a decade before the Covid-19 pandemic، Gaza-born artist Mohammed Musallam created a face mask based on the traditional keffiyeh textile. The conceptual artwork could be seen both as an expression of Palestinian identity and as a means of protection; caring for identity is as important as protecting health itself. It was first used in Gazan hospitals under the Israeli occupation’s siege. Impossible at that time to foresee the impact of Covid-19; this face mask shows the power of artistic imagination. The artwork did not lose any of its meaning; just the contrary.
Gaza’s potentially disastrous combination of widespread impoverishment, densely-packed refugee camps and extremely limited hospital capacity make us even more aware of the catastrophic impact of the Israeli occupation and how fragile life can be. Caring for each other is more important than ever.
Under Musallam’s supervision, the new masks were produced in Gaza City by tailor Abu Alaa Ghaben; to be worn for your safety and as an act of solidarity.
Mohammed Musallam was born in Gaza in 1974 after his family had been dislocated from the historic Palestine as a consequent of the 1948 war. He holds a PhD in philosophy of Fine Arts, Painting Department, Fine Arts College, Minia University, Egypt. He currently resides in Gaza and works there as a lecturer of “Painting and the History of Palestinian Arts” at the College of Arts, Al Aqsa University. From his first steps as a university student he became greatly influenced by the abstract art processes and approaches. In his Art, he focuses on portraying a range of humanistic issues, which go beyond the limitations imposed by any prevailing time-related matters, which may be oppressive and persistent simultaneously. At the same time, he concentrates on conveying the notion of the preservation of our humaneness amid the harshness of our environment as one of the most important reasons for our existence.