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Photo by Yazan Khalili - Courtesy of Qalandiya International

EXHIBITION

SEA OF STORIES | Qalandiya International III

5/10 - 15/11/2016

With AHMAD BARCLAY & HANA SLEIMAN // ABDULRAHMAN KATANANI // KAMAL ALJAFARI // DICTAPHONE GROUP // MOHANAD YAQUBI // MAIS DARWAZAH // ARAB PUPPET THEATER FOUNDATION // THE LITTLE LANTERN DANCE AND THEATER WORKSHOP // MAURICIO MISLE // SARAH ZERYAB

 

Curated by: Rasha Salah

 

QALANDIYA INTERNATIONAL III | THIS SEA IS MINE

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 displaying works of art, architecture, spatial design 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.


This edition ‘This Sea is Mine’ crosses the borders of Palestine, contemplating return and refuge for Palestine and the region in Haifa, Beirut, Gaza, Amman, London, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. 

 

Qi BEIRUT EDITION | SEA OF STORIES

Where should the ships sail after the last shore?


‘Sea of Stories’ explores the displacements and imagined returns of the Palestinian community in Lebanon throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinian experience and imagination has travelled the Mediterranean, temporarily setting anchor in several of its ports, and perpetually seeking the route back to Palestine. In the words of Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad, Palestinians have continued to ‘plow the sea’ in a relentless effort to return.


’Sea of Stories’ seeks to explore those journeys and trace these routes, opening a space for conversation on what return means for today’s Palestinian community in Lebanon. It sets sail from the ports of Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon and Tyr to retrace the journeys of people, ideas, narratives, and objects across the Mediterranean.

 

Dar El-Nimer would like to thank First National Bank, Welfare Association, Agial Art Gallery, Al Mawred Al Thaqafi, Dar Al Mussawir, Assafir, Al Akhbar and T-Marbouta.

 

Special thanks to the team of Qalandiya International, Saleh Barakat, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Akram Zaatari, Mustafa Kassem and El-Nimer Collection.

 

EXHIBITED PROJECTS

 

SEA OF STORIES: Voyages of the Palestinian Archives | Ahmad Barclay & Hana Sleiman

The story of the archives of the Palestinian national movement reveals a narrative of exile and fragmentation that reflects the Palestinian experience itself. Building on archival and ethnographic research, this project reconstructs the journeys of these archives across the Mediterranean, connecting locations including Beirut, Haifa, Algeria, Cyprus and Italy. The project explores how much of these archives have been lost, why the remaining fragments are yet to be repatriated, and the ramifications of an archival absence on Palestinian narratives of past, present and future.

 

THE WAVE | Abdulrahman Katanani

The sea looms large in the language of our imaginations, a site of reflection, voyage, and volatile freedom. It exists as both surface and metaphor. Through it dreams are dreamt, journeys are set forth, and the horizon of life begins to blurt and widen. But the sea opens itself to both naval commander and refugee; it is the means of both conquest and escape. Today we face the sea in an era of occupations, wars, massacres, and mass displacement. Those who have taken to the sea in flight have been met with a second set of dangers: live bullets in Gaza, drowning in the Mediterranean. The sea that shimmers with possibility becomes a site of horror. And so the wave seems to blur into the very tools of these human-made borders: barbed wire.

 

RECOLLECTION | Kamal Aljafari

The Israeli and American features shot in the town of Jaffa from the 60s to the 90s are the basis for the story of a dream. All protagonists are removed from the original footage, leaving an empty setting formed by the town. Thus, the impossible is made possible from the ‘I’ perspective, namely filming the past and compiling a picture album made of memories. Preserved also is a city, alive again in moving images. Its gradual destruction over the decades is chronicled by film, excavating a whole community and recreating the city. Aljafari erased the actors, photographed the backgrounds and the edges; and made the passersby the main characters of this film. He finds his way from the sea, walks everywhere, sometimes hesitant and sometimes lost. He wanders through the city and memories filming everything he encounters because he knows it no longer exists. He returns to a lost time.

 

CAMP PAUSE | Dictaphone Group

Rashidieh Palestinian refugee camp is located on the coast of south Lebanon, to the south of the city of Tyre. It is the closest Palestinian refugee camp to Palestine. In Rashidieh, Dictaphone Group worked with four residents of the camp mapping their everyday routes from their homes to the sea. Narrating stories, each participant lead the group towards the final scene in which they place themselves with the background of the sea.

 

FROM THE EL-NIMER COLLECTION

The El-Nimer Collection has been in the making for over three decades. It is a collection which has grown to become an act of commemoration and resilience against modern erasure of memory and distortion of identity.

The collection sheds light on the complex evolution of the socio-political history of the region through its cultural and artistic productions and includes pieces spanning around ten centuries of civilisation.

 

A scene from 'Recollection', Kamal Aljafari

SCREENING

KAMAL ALJAFARI | RECOLLECTION

07/10/16

The Israeli and American features shot in the town of Jaffa from the 60s to the 90s are the basis for the story of a dream. All protagonists are removed from the original footage, leaving an empty setting formed by the town. Thus, the impossible is made possible from the ‘I’ perspective, namely filming the past and compiling a picture album made of memories. 'Recollection' will be screened on 07/10/16 at 6:30pm. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Kamal Aljafari and Akram Zaatari.

A scene from 'A Performance Desperately in Need for an Audience'

PERFORMANCE

ARAB PUPPET THEATRE FOUNDATION | A PERFORMANCE DESPERATELY IN NEED FOR AN AUDIENCE

13/10/2016

The story of ‘A Performance Desperately in Need for an Audience’ tells the tale of exile. It delves into the world where thousands upon thousands of people are choosing to bear the burden of migration and to face the ultimate risk of death, leaving behind their homes and loved ones, in the hopes of finding themselves human again beyond the seas.

A scene from 'My Love Awaits Me by the Sea', Mais Darwazah

SCREENING

MAIS DARWAZAH | MY LOVE AWAITS ME BY THE SEA |

14/10/2016

‘My Love Awaits Me by the Sea’ is a poetic documentary narrating the story of the director who takes a first time journey back to her homeland, Palestine. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Mais Darwazah and Rima Mismar (AFAC).

Research, 'Off Frame', courtesy of Sami Said, 2012

TALK

MOHANAD YAQUBI | OFF FRAME: A JOURNEY THROUGH MILITANT CINEMA

18/10/2016

Drawing on recently found film rushes, rare documentary footage and clips of Third Cinema, Mohanad Yaqubi will introduce us to a fascinating and often neglected world that engages with the depth of Palestine’s filmmaking history, its role in shaping Palestinian identity, and its ties to the wider Third Cinema movement. The presentation will raise questions with regards to the role of ‘militant cinema’ as a tool of documentation but also to intervene in the political upheavals and liberation movements that shook the world in the midst of the past century.

Al Bahr Min Huna, Nuha Innab (2012)

TALK

THE SEA IS THIS WAY | DICTAPHONE GROUP

25/10/2016 - 6:30pm

Dictaphone Group was asked to guest edit the Fall 2013 online edition of ArteEast. Based on ‘This Sea Is Mine’ project (2012), they discussed the issue of access to the sea and public space in several Arab cities. They asked the contribution of activists, artists and researchers from Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Palestine, with an aim to critically and comparatively open a debate about access to the sea as a social practice and as a right to ‘make and remake our cities’ (Harvey, 2008).

This Sea Is Mine, Dictaphone Group (2012)

AUDIO TOUR

DICTAPHONE GROUP | THIS SEA IS MINE

29/10/2016

Taking an audio tour based on ‘This Sea Is Mine’ performance that was conducted in 2012, the audience is invited to a journey with fisherman Adnan al-Oud on a fishing boat from the Ain El-Mreisse port to Dalieh seafront area in Raouche. Through this alternative experience of the city, the audience will explore land ownership of Beirut’s seafront, the laws that govern it, and the practices of its users.

A scene from 'Reflections', Sarah Zeryab

SCREENING

SARAH ZEYRAB | REFLECTIONS

29/10/2016

Throughout the three consecutive years Sarah has lived in Beirut, WhatsApp has been the only means of communication between her and her parents in Damascus. Sarah receives from her father a voice note of him singing her a song by Oum Kulthoum. It is through the voice notes exchanged with her parents that Sarah discovers that the war has reversed their roles: the adults have become children who devour memories of the past. She, meanwhile, asks herself, ‘What do my parents look like now?’

A scene from 'Hamule', Mauricio Misle, 2015

SCREENING

MAURICIO MISLE | HAMULE

29/10/2016

In audio and video recordings from the 1970’s, Mauricio Misle found strong memories from his family in Palestine, that present a brutal episode of the Israeli colonization. Hamule reflects the trauma inherited by several generations of Palestinian descendants in Chile.

(1982) A Crime Against Culture. PLO Research Center

TALK

AHMAD BARCLAY & HANA SLEIMAN | SEA OF STORIES: VOYAGES OF THE PALESTINIAN ARCHIVES

11/10/2016

The story of the archives of the Palestinian national movement reveals a narrative of exile and fragmentation that reflects the Palestinian experience itself. Building on archival and ethnographic research, this project reconstructs the journeys of these archives across the Mediterranean, connecting locations including Beirut, Haifa, Algeria, Cyprus and Italy. The project explores how much of these archives have been lost, why the remaining fragments are yet to be repatriated, and the ramifications of an archival absence on Palestinian narratives of past, present and future.

BOOK SIGNING

APOLLO ON GAZA SHORE

15/11/2016 - 5:30PM

Book signing followed by a conversation with Hooda Shawa. Location: Main Gallery

MUSIC PERFORMANCE

AMAL KAWASH AND WESSAM ELALI

15/11/2016 - 7:00PM

A music performance by Amal Kawash (vocals) accompanied by Wissam Elali (oud).