Hosh Jalsa, 3 February 2019
On a brisk yet sunny morning in Birzeit’s old city, MENACatalyst joined up with Disarming Design from Palestine, to launch the first ever Startuptelling event in Palestine. ‘Design’ dominated the theme for this first-time event, and featured a panel of judges that conveyed the importance of supporting designs that bespeak to the realities of being a Palestinian in this day and age. A pop-up bazar was also organized which allowed participating designers, artists and artisans, to not only showcase their crafts, but to support local design. Featured designers, artists and artisans were as talented as they were diverse, and offered patrons a selection of crafts that ranged from, contemporary art pieces, hand-made jewelry, graphic print hoodies and totes, as well as artisanal goods such as floral infused soaps.
MENACatalyst kicked-off the event with an opening statement that emphasized the inherent power of a story to resonate on a human level with people all over the world. Related to today’s devastating climate of occupation, dispossession and aggression, it becomes even more important to share stories that shine a light on the passion and determination, resilience and strength, of the Palestinian people. Disarming Design from Palestine’s Raed Hamouri, then took to the stage, and explained how they are working with local designers, artisans and producers, to not only showcase their work on a global scale, but to empower them to become self-sufficient. Products featured by Disarming Design from Palestine, is the perfect example that despite the simplicity of a design, amazing stories of Palestinian culture, and resilience are waiting to be told.
Ghadeer Najjar of NOL Design Studio followed up, and explained how her work raises awareness about the importance of maintaining the integrity of traditional Palestinian architecture and design, which is in essence a representation of Palestinian traditions and culture. Najjar, then spoke about the importance of supporting designs that are made and manufactured in Palestine, and how through her own designs she is creating visual manifestations that reflect upon the stories lived by thousands of Palestinians every day.
All participants were then encouraged to explore the pop-up bazaar, to not only purchase novelty, made in Palestine items, but to learn about the inspiring stories behind them, and in the stories that we share take home an authentic piece of Palestine.
The Palestinian Museum, 3, 4 May 2019
The Palestinian Museum, in partnership with Disarming Design from Palestine, hosted 30 emerging youth projects, that take nature and the values for respecting it as the basis for their creations, most of which have been upcycled. At a time where temporary and make-shift markets are spreading, the Palestinian Museum and Disarming Design from Palestine are providing opportunities for young designers and artists to showcase their products and innovations and to seize opportunities that may contribute to the transformation of their individual initiatives into established projects and economic models.
This market was accompanied by a series preparatory events, in which they involved design and planning students from Birzeit University in designing the market spaces through an open competition, with an emphasis on the idea of upcycling in implementation.
Hosh Jalsa, 20 November 2019
Young Artisans Market in partnership with Hikayatna Initiative in Hosh Jalsa.