Colonial Dependence, Politics and Identity in Palestinian Culture and Arts
Conference Call for the Launch of Institute for the Study of Arabic Culture in Visual Arts, Design & Architecture, Bezalel
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Three crucial periods have influenced the Palestinian culture in modern history: The Ottoman rule (1517-1917) in "Bilad a-Sham" area, which began a process of local modernization and allowed a space for multicultural activity.
The British colonialism (1918-1948) which determined the division of the area (Bilad a-Sham) into nation states, and continued modernization and urban development, and replaced the Palestinian culture with western colonial culture.
The Zionist utopia, that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, caused a catastrophe (Nakba) against the Palestinians. Most of the Palestinians were displaced from Palestine, and those who remained in their homeland have become against their will citizens in a country that is in a state of war against their own people. The new situation forced the Palestinians to define their inner boundaries and relations with the state of Israel on one hand, and to define their relations with the Arab world from the other hand.
Over the years, several schools and modes of thought were developed amongst Palestinian artists, designers, and architects. As some of them believed that they must be pragmatic and express themselves through the Israeli arts frameworks and power centers (such as academies, institutes, galleries, and museums), others considered this to be a contradiction inconsistent with their identity. Some of the artists, designers, and architects have mentioned that creativity and politics are inseparable, while others argued that a separation is possible, and is even preferred, claiming that creativity is supposed to criticize and create the human dialogue that politics has failed to create. These and other directions created ongoing discussions that raised many questions regarding the role of the Palestinian artist and the designer and the architect inside and outside of Israel.
This conference call invites everyone who works in the different fields of arts and design (visual arts, product design, graphic design, fashion design, and architecture) whether academically or professionally, to submit a proposal that relates to one of the subjects that will arise in the conference.
The conference's main subjects:
a. The question of the colonial dependence between the suppressant and the suppressed: can the suppressed/subaltern create independently and critically?
b. Politics in the field of Palestinian art, design, and architecture in Israel and worldwide.
c. The role of art in conveying criticism and ideas beyond artistic creativity.
d. The relations between the majority and the minority and the question of exploitation and preference in the fields of art.
e. Methods of Palestinian artistic expression in the Israeli sphere.
This conference aims at becoming a launching event of the Institute for the Study of Arabic Culture in Visual Arts, Design & Architecture, and to put the discussion over the Arab culture in arts and design and architecture on the agenda.
The conference will be held on Thursday, December 20th at st. Gabriel Hotel, Nazareth.
Researchers and artists who are interested in participating in the conference are hereby invited to propose subjects for lectures that will span for 15-20 minutes only, or propose a discussion panel which will include several participants.
All proposals shall include a title and an abstract up to 300 words, and must be sent to email@example.com no later than 25/10/2018. Messages regarding participation in the conference will be sent during October 2018.
For further details please contact the conference coordinators:
Prof. Arch. Senan Abdelqader, founder and head of the institute, the Department of Architecture, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Fathi Marshoud, director of the institute, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, email@example.com
Dr. Arch. Els Verbakel, head of the Department of Architecture, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Ory Bartal, head of the Department of History and Theory, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, email@example.com
Dr. Yoav Friedman, head of the Research and Innovation Authority, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Husni el-Kateeb Shehadeh, head of the Department of Visual Arts, Levinsky College of Education, email@example.com
The Institute for the Study of Arab Culture in the Visual Arts, Design and Architecture
The Institute for the Study of Arab Culture in the Visual Arts, Design and Architecture is considered a first-of-its-kind project among the institutions of higher education in the country, which makes it special in form and content. Besides being a significant historic step with the potential to influence both the present and the future, the Institute works on constructing an academic and cultural space focusing on Arab legacy and reform in general, and on the Palestinian culture in particular, and conducting high-level studies in those fields. The Institute bases its work on the leading role of content and thought of a group of Palestinian researchers engaged in the field of culture, arts, design and architecture, which will work on constructing an epistemic system based on its Palestinian and Arab aspirations and legacy while binding its project to the social, political, economic and cultural reality. The project relies on the idea that Arabic is the principle language of the Institute, in ambition to create a system that will interact with, and contribute to development and enrichment, aiming at becoming able to create and interact with the Arab and international space.