May 19, 2014 - Qalandiya International - Archives Lived and Shared
May 19, 2014

Archives Lived and Shared

Young girls at a Women’s Activity Centre in Qalandiya
village playing a friendly game of basketball, 1950.
Credit: UNRWA Photo.

Qalandiya International
Archives Lived and Shared

22 October–15 November 2014 

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The Partner Organisations announce the 2014 Qalandiya International:

Archives Lived and Shared
“Palestinians are still incapable of stopping the continued and accelerating erasure of the two greatest archives of all: the physical landscape and the bonds of daily life that constitute an organic social formation.”
–Beshara Doumani, “Archiving Palestine and Palestinians: The Patrimony of Ishan Nimr,” Jerusalem Quarterly 36, 2009

In the twenty-first century, interest in archives and increased critical engagement with the practice and purpose of archiving has been growing steadily. In Palestine, this acknowledgement of the urgency and importance of archiving is not a recent thing. The legacy of dispossession has meant that for decades, the question of what archives preserve, and to whom they belong, has been an essential one. Archiving has a key part to play in the collective search to make sense of the past and present of Palestine and shape its future. Qalandiya International 2014 will be part of this endeavour.

We are proposing an engagement with archives in Palestine that is creative as well as critical. Their role in preserving and shaping national identity, and the importance of public access to them, will serve as the theme and inspiration for the 2014 QI events. We hope to address some of the more problematic ways in which archives have been discussed and dealt with. 

The etymology of the word archive can be traced to the Greek arkheion, the public dwelling of the Archon, in which official documents were stored and interpreted. Archives were a source of authority, kept safe and profoundly inaccessible. The ways in which we conceive of archives today—as fragile, untouchable monuments bound by restrictions and limitations—acknowledge and preserve these overtones of secrecy and power. But Qalandiya International seeks to explore the ways in which archives, both public and personal, are the property and responsibility of those whose history they preserve. Proposing new modalities of participation and of sharing, Qalandiya International will seek to make engagement with archives in Palestine a communal and creative act. 

The artists, writers, thinkers and curators involved in the 2014 events will begin the process of rewriting our histories. In their new narrative, archives are not a repository of knowledge but a tool with which we may shape our understanding of the past, the present and a shared future. Criss-crossing the Palestinian landscape in a series of exhibitions, performances, talks and interventions, archives will be opened up and questioned, and their content become once more a lived and debated experience.

QI 2014 Partners
The QI 2014partner organisations include the A. M. Qattan Foundation, the International Academy of Art – Palestine,the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center,the Palestinian Museum, Ramallah Municipality, and Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation (in Ramallah); and Al Hoash – Palestinian Art Court and Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art (in Jerusalem). They will be joined by other organisations in different parts of Palestine—to be announced.

QI 2014 Events
QI 2014 will include a wide range of events across historical Palestine, including the Riwaq Archives, Al-Ma’mal’s Jerusalem Show VII, and the Qattan Foundation’s 8th Young Artist of the Award (YAYA 2014). There will also be other curated exhibitions (to be announced) and performances, as well as symposia, talks, discussions and workshops.

The organisers of QI 2014 share a common goal: to strengthen Palestinian cultural life. We aim to make the events accessible to as many of our communities as possible. We aim to transcend the restrictions on movement, political stagnation and the consequent impacts on our cultural life and practices. We aim to bring Palestine art and artists to the attention of the world and to host international artists and commentators in Palestine to foster dialogue, exchange and collaboration. 


Qalandiya International 2014: Archives Lived and Shared
Qalandiya International
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