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Qalandiya International 2016

Sites of Return: Ramallah

010_05 / 6 October 2016

Sites of Return


Location: Ramallah

Venues: Housh Qandah, Beit Michael Sufan and Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq in the Old City, Ramallah.

Dates/Times: Open daily 12:00–18:00 except Friday’s & Sunday’s. 10–31 October, 2016

Organizers: Ramallah Municipality


Curators: Sahar Qawasmi and Beth Stryker

Artists: Click on the names below to visit each artist's section

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme, Rheim Alkadhi, Mirna Bamieh, Campus in Camps, Samia Halaby, Basim Magdy, Mohammad Saleh, Nida Sinnokrot, and Wafaa Yasin.


Click on the links below to visit each section

Notes on Ramallah Municipality

Curatorial Statement

On the Old City, Ramallah

On Jalazone Refugee Camp

Artist Projects map
Artist Projects

Calendar/Exhibition sites

Talks programme

Artist Biographies

Curator Biographies



Click here to download the full PDF programme


Notes on Ramallah Municipality


Ramallah Municipality partakes in the organization of Qalandiya International 2016 together with 15 institutions across the Palestinian territory. In its capacity as a local government institution, the Municipality's philosophy and vision have been targeted toward supporting and boosting cultural life in Palestine.


Ramallah Municipality seeks to enhance and consolidate the concept of cultural activities. It aims to create far-reaching partnerships with key players in the cultural theater on all levels and anchor the concept of community partnership and its significance in constructing and safeguarding the notion of active citizenship. On the local level, Ramallah Municipality angles for the strengthening cultural pluralism and diversity and as a result it aims to link local cultural institutions and artists with their international counterparts with the view of promoting cultural exchange and building a network of cultural and humanitarian expertise. Furthermore, Ramallah Municipality aims to disseminate Palestinian culture across the world, create a wide segment of cultured public, support cultural activities and promote wider public participation in cultural life.


The third version of Qalandiya International focuses on the concept of return in developing the programs of partner institutions that are taking part in organizing the festival this year titled This Sea Is Mine. In addition to the deep relation of the Palestinian people with the concept of return on the political, legal, humanitarian and emotional collective and individual levels, thousands of people from the Arab region and foreign countries will be participating in the critical and harsh experience that Palestinians have gone through 70 years ago, namely exile and homelessness as well as deprivation their basic political and historic rights. The sea sums up the Palestinian narrative and its symbolic dimensions.


Ramallah Municipality presents the program titled Sites of Return which addresses the concept of return in a special form that combines both the political dimension and urban organization. A group of artists will take part in the program and present the notion of return from different perspectives employing various art forms. The program also deals with the concept of return outside the political context but within an urban context. This is the notion of return that sheds light on underutilized sites in the city with a desire to revitalize them.


Curatorial Statement

Sahar Qawasmi and Beth Stryker


The program explores notions of Return – restlessness, rupture, rebellion, re-growth and radical forms of action – inviting activists, storytellers and artists to engage with otherwise underutilized sites across the city and its surroundings. Vignettes, tours, and performances interlink spaces across histories and geographies, excavating stories in and of these spaces. The program makes temporary use of buildings and public spaces, reinvigorating these sites through pop-up programs.


Rheim Alkadhi searches for impermanent stories written on the inside edges of clothes, in acts of transmission, testimony, identity and migration.


Campus in Camps' Book of Exile assembles stories of refugee life in Palestinian camps since the Nakba of 1948, narrating the vital culture that emerged in exile in spite of suffering and deprivation. Transcribed by hand, The Book of Exile revives fading calligraphic traditions to inscribe new stories of return that challenge earlier conceptions.


Mirna Bamieh's Potato Talks performance gathers storytellers in a public square to peel through layers of history, exposing stories of uprootings, belonging, and exodus.


Wafaa Yasin reconstructs stories, accessing distant spaces through physical rituals that invoke memory and imagination.


Basim Magdy's decomposed images reflect on questions of return, re-growth, and reconstruction.


Nida Sinnokrot attaches tiny LED lights to pigeons released from coops in Jalazone Refugee Camp, whose flight play out patterns of migration, drawing ephemeral waves in the sky moments before dusk.


Samia Halaby paints spaces of return inspired by the stories and hopes of refugees.


Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme's The Incidental Insurgents investigates the possibilities for the future rather than the past, through the unfolding of a convoluted story initiating a contemporary search for a new political language and imaginary.


Mohammad Saleh's Yaleekom explores a return to self-sufficiency, through permaculture solutions to urban and environmental problems that can be implanted in Palestine's refugee camps, cities, and villages.




On the Old City, Ramallah

The historic centre of Ramallah is located on a hilltop to the west of the new city centre, which sits on a higher hill. The  compact groups of historic buildings built in grey limestone blend naturally with the surrounding landscape and form the traditional fabric of the historic centre. 

The historic centre includes 208 historic buildings, 67 percent of which are composed of one story and 80 percent of which are utilized mainly for residential and commercial purposes. All the buildings in the historic centre date back to the late Ottoman Period. As in other historic centres in Palestine, the fabric of the built environment is influenced  by kinship and gender relations, including its division into  private and public domains. There were five main hamayel  (patrilineal descent groups) in Ramallah that were grouped  into separate quarters bearing their names: Ibrahim, Jerias,  Shaqara, Hassan, and Haddad. 

Ramallah has 163 single historic buildings built between the early- to mid-20th centuries scattered throughout the  historic centre, which demonstrate typical aspects of recent Palestinian architecture. Historic Centers in the central highlands of Palestine are usually located on a high ground overlooking valleys and  agricultural lands. The tightly grouped grey limestone  buildings are designed to meld with the adjacent landscape and stone terraces, which are planted with olive and fruit  trees. Traditionally, historic centers were surrounded by  private gardens (hawakir), which connected them with the  surrounding fields. Currently, many of these gardens are  used for new buildings or are neglected. This settlement pattern was determined by the fear of outside raids. Since building was not allowed on valuable agricultural lands in the  plains and valleys, these buildings atop hilly areas reflected  the scarcity there of fertile land. Buildings were constructed according to individual needs rather than organized town planning. 

Historic centers were divided into three main domains: public, semi-private, and private. While alleys, guest houses and water springs were considered public, courtyards  were considered semi-private, and houses were the most private spaces of all. Public areas accommodated the communal needs of the villagers and were dominated by  men. Guesthouses (madafat), usually situated in central  locations, were centers for male gatherings, entertainment, and a place to welcome visitors. Natural springs ('oyun, singular 'ein), on the other hand, were spaces for women's gatherings. Women used to fetch water for domestic use. Another women's gathering place was the bread oven (tabun). Other communal spaces in historic centers include the oil press (al-badd) and mill, the central plaza (saha) as well as churches and mosques. 

The courtyard (al-housh) was a semi-private family space defined by a group of surrounding buildings connected with  an alley by a path or an arched doorway. This was the space  where women performed their daily work and mixed with  other male relatives and neighbors without restrictions. The  courtyard was also the most common location for rainwater  cisterns. The most private space was the interior of the  house. With one small high window, a ventilation hole, and a  low entrance, the house interior remained relatively dark. The  walls of the house were more than one meter thick creating  an efficient system for heat and sound insulation. The internal  composition of the one-roomed peasant house reflects the  social and practical needs of peasant life. The cross vaulted  room, with an average internal area of 40 meters square,  was divided into three major areas: the family living space (mastabeh) and the food storage space (rawiyeh), separated  from the mastabeh by a series of grain storage bins made of  mud and straw (khawabi), both occupying the upper level. The  lower level of the house (qa' al-bayt) was used for livestock  and farming equipment.

** Exerpt from Ramallah Highlands Trail, the first guidebook of the Re-Walk Heritage Series by Riwaq, 2012. 


On Jalazone Refugee Camp


Established in 1949, the Jalazone refugee camp has more than 11,000 inhabitants today living on less than  250 dunums. Its residents come from more than 36  different villages, mainly from the central coastal area of  Palestine in 1948. The Israeli settlement of Beit El borders  the camp from the east. According to the Oslo accords, Jalazone is in area B; so while Palestinians are in control  of civil administration, Jalazone is under Israeli security control. A popular committee, which is formed by consent, manages the camp and represents the refugees in local and  international bodies. The UNRWA (The United Nations Relief  and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East)  maintains the camp by providing basic services such as  education, medical care, and sanitation. 

The Red Cross constructed the first refugee camps from  simple tents made of cloth and wooden posts. By May  1950, under UN General assembly Resolution 302 (IV) of 8  December 1949, UNRWA started a systematic aid program  for the Palestinian refugees in the five areas of operation  (West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon). The UNRWA  humanitarian program included the provision of shelter, food, medical aid, and education. 

In 1951-1952, after a few years of cold winters in collapsing  cloth tents, some refugees started to build shelters from  rubble and stones mixed with earthen mortar. The UNRWA provided early building attempts with wooden boards for  roofing, and later on with corrugated asbestos. It was not  until several years of residence in the camp, with diminishing  hope for immediate return, that the UNRWA started  replacing the tents with more durable shelters.

In 1953, the UNRWA started replacing refugee tents with  concrete structures. There were three types of units: a  small one-room model (9 m2  ) to host up to three persons, a medium one-room model (12 m2  ) to host up to six persons,  and a two-room model (18 m2) to accommodate families of more than six members. These prototypes were set in rows between two streets. Each plot was 7x14 meters  (98 m2  ). After more than six decades of construction,  the spatial configuration of the camp is still organized following the original military scheme. Today, the 7-metre-wide plots overlooking the main alleys of the camp are still distinguishable. 

The spatial configuration of Jalazone is the result of an ongoing spatial transformation processes. Because the  camp was built on limited land rented from the nearby  village of Jifna, the early UNRWA structures were replaced  with more permanent vertical buildings. Very few structures  from those built in 1950s survived the processes of  destruction and restructuring. With the fourth generation of  refugees born in the camp, the shelters and the surrounding  plots have become highly congested and overcrowded, and  the streets more narrow. But despite all of these changes,  the camp retains its original plan of intersecting streets  leading to the main plaza.

** Text by Khaldun Bshara. Exerpt from Ramallah Highlands Trail, the first guidebook of the Re-Walk Heritage Series by Riwaq,  2012



Artists' projects map


Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme



The Incidental Insurgents: The Part About the Bandits, 2012, Part 1 (Chapter 2).

Single-channel HD video, and 2-channel sound + sub woofer, 6'


The Incidental Insurgents: Unforgiving years, 2014, Part 2 (Chapter 4)

Single-channel HD video, and 2-channel sound + sub woofer, 6'20"


The Incidental Insurgents is mapped out as a three-part multilayered narrative, with chapters completing and complicating each other, unfolding the 'story' of a contemporary search for a new 'political' language and imaginary. In chapters from Parts 1 and 2, exhibited together in Ramallah for the first time, the gure of the incidental insurgent – part bandit, rebel, part vagabond, artist – returns and resurges in many forms and characters. Recast into a convoluted script of sampled text, images, objects and sounds.


The Incidental Insurgents is an investigation into the possibilities for the future rather than the past, where a convoluted story situated in multiple times starts to emerge. Initiating an obsessive search to figure out how we, like the incidental figures before us, and ourselves inhabiting a moment full of radical potential and disillusionment. Searching for what we cannot yet see but feel is possible.


Rheim Alkhadi



Words on inside edges, turned inside-out (late September through early October 2016)


Unexplainably in the past several months, people everywhere have been writing words on the inside edges of their clothes.


One can only imagine whether it is in order to quickly locate language in case language is lost, or to transmit private words to someone in public, or to ensure last words reach family members upon the wearer's sudden death.


The reasons surely vary. It is certain however that if words written along the border of any shirt, jacket, skirt or trousers are able to transmit intimate testimony or identification, then it is precisely due to the body's physical presence carrying and transmitting these inscriptions. 'I crossed all these borders to reach you', inscribes the wearer to an estranged lover/inscribes a refugee upon arrival from dispossession/inscribes a racialized body before being shot by military/inscribes the physical urgency of an otherwise elusive virtual totality.


This project proposes to find and document all the words written on the inside edges of clothes worn in Palestine in these times.


Campus in Camps



The Book of Exile, 2016 Paper, ink, leather, thread.


The Book of Exile is an assemblage of stories of refugee life in Palestinian camps since the Nakba of 1948. The book narrates the story of the camp as a distinctive site of knowledge production. These stories are an expression of a vital culture that emerged in exile in spite of suffering and deprivation. The Book of Exile was produced for the first time on the occasion of 6th edition of the Marrakech Biennale (2016) by the calligrapher Abdelghani Ouida who, together with his colleagues and his students, brought back an inveterate heritage of knowledge production and translation of texts to the courtyard of the Koutoubia Mosque in the city of Marrakesh in Morocco.


In the Ramallah Municipality's Sites of Return exhibition, the Book of Exile will be activated by Campus in Camps participants, the authors of stories collected in the book, and by local Palestinian calligrapher Saher Al-Kabi.


Calligrapher Saher Kabi performace dates and times at Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq, Old City, Ramallah:

10 October 2016 | 16:00 - 18:00

18 October 2016 | 16:00 - 18:00

23 October 2016 | 16:00 - 18:00

29 October 2016 | 16:00 - 18:00


Mirna Bamieh



Potato Talks: (Up)rooting

Ramallah Edition


Joseph Beuys once stated: 'Every sphere of human activity, even peeling a potato, can be a work of art as long as it is a conscious act.'


10 storytellers peeling potatoes, opposite 10 chairs, for two hours.


The chairs will be occupied sequentially and spontaneously with Ramallah inhabitants, passersby, and tourists.


The storytellers will peel through layers of stories, that explore what it means to be uprooted, to belong, the places we leave and those we return to, the stories that demarcate what 'exodus' means for Palestinians in the ever-shifting world we inhabit.


Potato Talks is a public performance project staged in different cities and countries under different themes. The first edition of the project was performed in Marrakech with Maroc Artist Meeting as part of Marrakech Biennale, in April 2016. The storytellers focused on potato-related childhood memories, and potato histories of capitalism, colonialism, social roles, feminism, revolutionary actions and more.


Performance dates and times:


17 October 2016 | 17:00 - 19:00

at Al-Manarah Sq., City Center, Ramallah


23 October 2016 | 17:00 - 19:00

at Qandah Plaza, Old City, Ramallah


Wafaa Yasin



The Imaginary Houses of Palestine

Video Installation

2 projections, audio, recovered ceramic tiles from site, stainless steel sink, water with silt.


The Imaginary Houses of Palestine installation incorporates video documentation of two prior performances.


The Imaginary Houses of Palestine documents a performance wherein the artist cleans and grouts tiles that remained from an old factory building in the United States. The tiles were reminiscent of the old Arab houses in Jerusalem, Palestine and recall two separate but parallel histories: one that exists in the artist's memory and the other in the present, but in a different country, belonging to a different people and culture.


We're not Done Yet documents the artist washing the foundation of an abandoned construction site in the United States. The exposed structural pylons call to mind sites in Silwan East Jerusalem, where due to excavations the houses are caving-in. For nearly 42 years individual settlers and organizations, with the support of the Israeli government, have been digging beneath Arab houses looking for evidence of a biblical village. By claiming the history beneath these homes, the excavators destabilize the lives above.


Basim Magdy



A 240 Second Analysis of Failure and Hopefulness (With Coke, Vinegar and Other Tear Gas Remedies), 2012

160 color slides and 2 synchronized Kodak slide carousel projectors. 240 sec.


The work consists of 160 colour slides shown on two synchronized slide carousel projectors. Shot over a period of one month and developed through an elaborate process of exposure to common household chemicals, the images depict a demolition site as it emerges into a construction site. For this process, Magdy has selected liquids such as vinegar, coca cola and others typically used as home remedies for tear gas, evocative of resistance struggles and their aftermath. The work reflects on questions of return, re-growth, and reconstruction.


Nida Sinnokrot



Flight – Jalazone, 2016 Pigeons, LEDs


On the 7th day he released a pigeon who finding no resting place returned to him.


Pigeons have always held a sacred place in Palestine. Today the art of keeping pigeons is a popular pastime, occupying rooftops and peppering our skies with aerial acrobatics. In Flight – Jalazone, tiny LED lights attached to pigeons from local coops bring rays of light to the sky above the Jalazone Refugee Camp. In this performance evoking the sea, pigeons will draw undulating, ephemeral waves in the sky moments before dusk. Multiple currents of blue and amber light enact a metaphoric Mediterranean where man-made and nature, freedom and enclosure, play out in a transitory ballet of holding patterns pointing to migration, both engineered and natural. Flight - Jalazone marks a continuation of work Nida began in 2005 using LEDs in nature. Common to all these works is the wonder a little light can bring.


Performance dates and times:

19 October 2016 | 17:00 - 18:00

in Jalazone Refugee camp.


28 October 2016 | 17:00 - 18:00

in Jalazone Refugee camp.


Samia Halaby



Return series, 2016


How are abstract ideas reflected in a set of squares? It is through the relationship of parts that ideas emerge: Squares can be aligned like soldiers, scattered like leaves in the wind, or graduate in size like branches on a tree. Their arrangement can create a complex pattern that reflects the complexity of nature, as when rocks interrupt breaking waves. An abstract principle encompassing more than one reality or particular view in nature may be visually distilled from such relationships.


The Return Series, created for the occasion of this exhibition, is inspired by the Palestinian right of return; but is about the idea of return to home of all migrants evicted by war. The physical principles used are those apparent in nature and life everywhere around us. These are reflected by words in the titles of the artworks: organizing, pathways, patterns, attraction, infiltrate, emerge.


Mohammad Saleh



Yaleekom, 2016


'Victory Gardens' was the name given to gardens that were established during the first Intifada to achieve self-sufficiency and break the dependency on the occupation. Palestinians have long understood the value of economic independency. I believe these gardens should be reintroduced in abundance. The necessity that bred this idea some 30 years ago is even more urgent today.


Solutions to urban and environmental problems are needed in Palestine's refugee camps, in our cities and in our villages. So much can be done to provide healthy, fresh, and locally grown food despite the realities of land scarcity.


Garden Features:


Ecological education: Empowering participants to implement similar projects within their communities.

Edible forest gardening: A regenerative food garden that requires no maintenance.

Aquaponics: The cultivation of organic fish and plants in a recirculating ecosystem.

Rooftop farms: Growing food on terraces and rooftops.

Recycling: Using solid and organic 'waste' creatively and productively.


Calendar / Exhibition sites

9  October 2016

10:00-12:00 | Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre  

Sites of Return: On Re-growth, restlessness, re-construction

[Qalandiya Encounter – panel discussion] Speakers: Shela Sheikh, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Rheim Alkadhi

Moderated by Rawan Sharaf

With an introduction from Sites of Return co-curators Sahar Qawasmi and Beth Stryker


Official Exhibition Opening: Sites of Return

10  October 2016

15:30 | Housh Qandah, Old City, Ramallah

16:30 | Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq, Old City, Ramallah

Calligrapher Saher Al-Kabi performance in the context of Book of Exile exhibition by Campus in Camps

17:30 | Beit Michael Sufan, Old City, Ramallah


17 October 2016

17:00-19:00 | Al-Manarah Sq., City Center, Ramallah

Mirna Bamieh

Potato Talks: (Up)rooting [Performance]

18 October 2016

16:00-18:00 | Housh Qandah, Old City, Ramallah 

Sites of Return exhibition tour with co-curator Sahar Qawasmi

Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq, Old City, Ramallah

Calligrapher Saher Kabi performance in the context of Book of Exile exhibition by Campus in Camps


19 October 2016

17:00-18:00 | Jalazone Refugee Camp*

Nida Sinnokrot Flight – Jalazone [Performance]


23 October 2016

16:00-18:00 | Housh Qandah, Old City, Ramallah 

Sites of Return exhibition tour with co-curator Sahar Qawasmi

Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq, Old City, Ramallah

Calligrapher Saher Kabi performance in the context of Book of Exile exhibition by Campus in Camps


17:00-19:00 | Qandah Plaza. Old City, Ramallah

Mirna Bamieh

Potato Talks: (Up)rooting [Performance]


28  October 2016

17:00-18:00 | Jalazone Refugee Camp*

Nida Sinnokrot Flight – Jalazone [Performance]


29 October 2016

16:00-18:00 | Housh Qandah, Old City, Ramallah 

Sites of Return exhibition tour with co-curator Sahar Qawasmi

Beit Khalil Abu Ejaq, Pld City, Ramallah

Calligrapher Saher Kabi performance in the context of Book of Exile exhibition by Campus in Camps


30 October 2016

17:30-20:00 | Ottoman Courthouse Amphitheater, Old City, Ramallah

Performance by Radio Dona Taraddod: We Will Return After the Intermission: Faris Shomali, zina zarour, Lama Rabah, and Henna al-Hajj Hasan, followed by a discussion with Campus in Camps



9 October 2016

10:00-12:00 | Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre

Sites of Return: On Re-growth, restlessness, re-construction Qalandiya Encounter – panel discussion


Organized by the Ramallah Municipality and Sakiya

Speakers Shela Sheikh, Irmgard Emmelhainz (via Skype), Rheim Alkadhi

Moderated by Rawan Sharaf

With an introduction from Sites of Return co- curators Sahar Qawasmi and Beth Stryker


As a prelude to the opening of the Ramallah Municipality's exhibition Sites of Return, this program invites an encounter between artist Rheim Alkadhi, academic Shela Sheikh, and translator and researcher Irmgard Emmelhainz, reflecting across disciplines on issues of return. With presentations by Rheim Alkadhi on borders, mobility, and perpetual migration; Shela Sheikh on artistic research, 'green imperialism' and reparations; and Irmgard Emmelhainz on communal being, and an ethical reconstruction of peoples.


Rheim Alkadhi presents three projects that elaborate an expanding set of approaches for working in the cultural field. The diverse processes employed in Morocco (2011), Palestine (2012), and the UAE (2014-15) are given as examples to make the case for immersion on the ground amid tyrannically engineered global disorder.


Shela Sheikh explores 'An offence against the earth' evoking the idea of reparations, and the contradictions involved in 'back to the earth' movements and 'cultivation' (as, but not limited to, a colonial move) more broadly. Sheikh references Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, and the need to take the 'earth' therein seriously, as a conduit for speaking about the entanglement of environmental and racial violence on a global scale, and for recuperating the centrality of environmental violence and ecology within the history of postcolonial studies. She explores the role of artistic research in this framework, through the specific lens of the botanical, 'postcolonial ecologies' and 'green imperialism'.


Irmgard Emmelhainz addresses a key concept of 'comunalidad', a notion from Oaxaca, Mexico that emerged in the 1980s. It describes communal being in traditional ways of organizing, opposing capitalism and colonialism in favor of an ethical reconstruction of peoples. Communality is a way of being in the world that revolves neither around a commons administered by bureaucrats, nor some transient, ephemeral, and nonbinding postcommunism. Rather, it is a pact that considers the commons less as common property, as something owned in common, but as a common way of life-without forgetting that communality implies new forms of inhabiting territories from the other side of modernity.

30 October 2016

17:30-20:00 | Ottoman Courthouse Amphitheater old City, Ramallah

We Will Return After the Intermission

Performance by Radio Dona Taraddod Faris Shomali, zina zarour, Lama Rabah, and Henna al-Hajj Hasan,

A discussion with Campus in Camps.


Radio dona taraddod (Without Hesitation/Frequency) is a volunteer-based online radio program and, quoting Naji al-Ali, it is biased towards those who are down under. The radio has been broadcasting for over two years and seeks to critique and rebut the prevailing socio-political, economic, and media rhetoric employing drama and black comedy (as needed). Radio Dona Taraddod is broadcast by www.itijah.ps and Multaqa Nabd al-Shababi Pulse Youth Forum.


Artist Biographies


Basel Abbas and Ruanne AbouRahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. They have exhibited and performed internationally and founded the sound and image performance group Tashweesh. Solo exhibitions include ICA (Philadelphia), Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo), Carroll/Fletcher (London), Akademie Der Kuenste der Welt (Cologne), and Delfina Foundation (London). Group exhibitions include Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) and the biennales of Sao Paulo, Istanbul and Gwangju, among numerous others. They are recipients of the Sharjah Biennial Prize (2015) and the Abraaj Group Art Prize (2016).


Rheim Alkadhi is a visual artist who operates under growing conditions of impermanence, maintaining a practice that is portable and formulated from the perspective of a gendered Arab body in perpetual migration. Her projects are concerned with borders, mobility, intimacy, temporary economies, and dis/order. She is based in the planetary diaspora, working across geographies and disciplines.


Mirna Bamieh is a visual artist from Jerusalem. Her work attempts to understand and contemplate notions of land and geographies of in-between temporality. Recently, her work has looked more at scenarios that take the language of the absurd and the ironical and uses them as tools

for political commentary. Additionally, she is developing situational performances that through the act of storytelling create a space of reflection, refuge and reconciliation.


Campus in Camps is an educational program that activates critical learning and egalitarian environments in Palestinian refugee camps in order to overcome decades of social exclusion, political subjugation and apathy. For the past years this program has provided Palestinian refugees with the infrastructure and intellectual space to transform theoretical discussions of "space" and "agency" into practical, community-driven interventions. www.campusincamps.ps


Samia A. Halaby, a Palestinian refugee born in Jerusalem in 1936, is a painter, writer, and activist. Her work is held in museum and private collections internationally and her shows have included Arab, European and American Galleries. Halaby authored two books, Liberation Art of Palestine and Drawing the Kafr Qasem Massacre. She is the subject of two monographs and numerous reviews.


Basim Magdy is an artist based in Basel, Switzerland and Cairo, Egypt. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group shows, including recent exhibitions New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New york; Surround Audience: 2015 New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New york and solo shows at Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin; MAxxI, Rome and Art in General, New york. He is winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize, Dubai and the New:Vision Award, CPH:DOx Film Festival, Copenhagen in 2014. Magdy is the recipient of the 2016 Deutsche Bank Artist of the year award.


Saher Nasser Al-Kabi is dedicated to the practice and teaching of calligraphy, and is currently transcribing the Quran Sharif for the State of Palestine (Mushaf Al-Aqsa). He holds a master's degree in economics from Birzeit University and has worked as a teacher of Arabic calligraphy at Al-Quds University for more than 8 years. Saher has been a member of the Association of Iraqi Calligraphers since 1994.


Mohammad Saleh is an ecological activist and former manager of an off-the-grid ecological educational center. Mohammad currently works as a permaculture designer for private and socially oriented projects in urban settings.


Nida Sinnokrot's films, installations and sculptures employ various media to transform ordinary objects/actions into sensory experiences that reveal a complexity of form and perception trapped within the mundane. Nida participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, was a Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow and his work is in various collections including the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Khalid Shoman Foundation.


Wafaa Yasin is an international performance/video artist based in San Francisco. She was born in the Galilee, Palestine and has participated in artist residencies in Italy, France, Turkey, and Germany. Wafaa's work has been shown regionally and internationally, including the Thessaloniki Biennale Performance Art Festival in Greece, the University of Nottingham England, and in Washington DC, Oakland and San Francisco USA.


Curator Biographies


Sahar Qawasmi is an architect and cultural heritage practitioner. She is Co-Founder of Sakiya, a residency program for art, science, and agriculture. Sahar co-wrote the first of Riwaq's "Re-Walk Heritage Guidebook Series." In 2012, she coordinated the 4th Riwaq Biennale and the 1st Qalandiya International. She was an architecture fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2014-2015. Sahar received her BA in Architecture from Birzeit University and her MArch from Miami University.


Beth Stryker is Co-Founder of CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research) a platform for urban research, architecture, art, and design initiatives in Downtown Cairo. Stryker has curated exhibitions and programs for D-CAF in Cairo, Beirut Art Center, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, AIANy/Center for Architecture in New york (where she held the position of Director of Programs), and the MCA in Chicago, among other venues. Beth received her BA from Columbia University and her MArch from Princeton University.





Special thanks to the following departments at Ramallah Municipality:

Projects' Department

Health and Environment Department Public Relations Department Purchase Division

Finance Department Media Unit Operational Unit


Special thanks go to:

The heirs of Khalil Abu Ejaq Michael and Jamil Sufan

The residents of the Old City of Ramallah The residents of the Jalazone Refugee Camp Al Arabi Creative Solution

Volunteers at the Exhibitions

This exhibition was supported by:

Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) and Danish House in Palestine (DHiP)

Heinrich Böll Foundation

Chapters in this series