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Cities Exhibition 6: Lydda – A Garden Dis-remembered

Artists are invited to submit entries to be considered for the 6th edition of the Cities Exhibition, part of the Qalandiya International. Deadline: 20 July 2018
Jun 2018

Open call for artists

Birzeit University Museum and the A.M. Qattan Foundation invite artists to submit entries to be considered for the 6th edition of the Cities Exhibition Lydda – A Garden Disremembered, part of the Cities Exhibition at Qalandiya International on October 2018.

Lydda is now a demographically divided city that has gone through a systematic engineered process of displacement of its native Palestinian inhabitants especially during their dramatic and forced exodus in the 1948 Nakba. The city was planned to be a modern utopian garden city during the British Mandate by Clifford Holliday and Otto Polcheck and was intended to host only British colonisers; it was, however, looked upon with an Orientalist gaze for preserving its underdeveloped biblical landscape in areas where the local population lived. It offered a strategic train junction that connected North Africa with Lebanon and Syria, and through its airport, military and civilian flights connected the city with the rest of the world.

Artists are invited to examine the controversies and analogies dealing with the imported British colonial planning paradigm and what that entails from post-industrial spatial forms and ethos, the transformation of Lydda to an ethnically cleansed and segregated city that had been despotically altered and the systematic racial planning policies that aimed at disempowering and suppressing Palestinian communities in favour of Jewish immigrants. Do the now displaced Lyddans carry platonic memories of their city? Perhaps not the paradise garden foreseen by Holliday and Polcheck, but a city of once historical and social coherence, where harmony has now been replaced by chaos and violence.

Each applicant may submit entries for new works in visual arts corresponding with the theme as outlined above to: qi@qattanfoundation.org

Deadline for submission is 12pm, July 20, 2018.

Applicants will be notified of their status by the end of July 2018.
All entries should be submitted in one PDF file that includes the following:
- Artist’s biography, no more than 150 words
- Artist’s CV
- Working title of the project
- A text explaining the concept and direction of the work, about 450 words
- Sketches and images that help explain the idea and the form of the installation
- Initial technical rider and rough scheme of expenses, including research and assistantship

Please note that all works will have to be produced locally with attainable local technologies. Works that require shipping will be disqualified. There is no fixed budget for the production; each case will be independently financially studied by the curatorial committee. Special attention will be given to large-scale installations.

The A.M. Qattan Foundation will cover the flight, accommodations and artist fees of two selected international artists and three local artists, from September to mid-October, to research and implement their projects.

Curatorial Committee: Amer al-Shomali, Iyad Issa, Tina Sherwell, Vera Tamari and Yazid Anani.

In its sixth edition, Cities Exhibition is an ongoing series of exhibitions founded by Vera Tamari at Birzeit University Museum in 2009. Each year, the exhibition opens its activities for local and international artists and curators. It draws attention to the marginal histories of Palestinians by examining the varied relationships between people, places and time. The exhibition is an experimental project based on contemporary art and cultural practices as a means for alternative knowledge production and promotion of change in societies. Cities Exhibition selects a new city each year where there is a possibility to excavate and generate alterative/ critical narratives on Palestinian cities and people. It is also an open source of opportunities to carry forth contemporary art and cultural practices to the Palestinian public.

(From press information. Photo: Repairs on Lydda-Jerusalem Railroad, September 5, 1938. G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection.)

A.M Qattan Foundation

PO Box 2276

Birzeit University Museum

P.O. Box 14

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