Open Call for Artists and Cultural Institutions
To submit proposals for intellectual and creative activities inspired by the exhibition

Intimate Terrains: Representations of a Disappearing Landscape

The Palestinian Museum will conduct a variety of activities (workshops, courses, performances, storytelling, tours, etc.) for different target groups as part of the Intimate Terrains exhibition which runs from April 1st to December 31st, 2019.

Intimate Terrains: Representations of a Disappearing Landscape explores the changing representation of landscape by Palestinian artists, and our relationship to place and location through the themes of erasure, fragmentation, distance and belonging. The exhibition brings together a spectrum of works which explore how representations of the landscape have evolved over the decades. The exhibition presents how loss and ongoing transformations of the landscape contour representations, along with addressing questions of the experience of distance from the homeland and exile. Landscape has been a prominent subject matter in the work of Palestinian artists as it is a deeply layered terrain of inscriptions, memories and histories, which holds a central place in the identity of Palestinians. How do artists then negotiate collective and personal memory in relation to the representations of landscape? and how does the changing reality on the ground contour their images?  How does exile and different experiences of alienation shape the views of the landscape? How have artists engaged with the materiality of the land? And how do artistic practices and their intimate relationships to places manifest around a disappearing landscape?

The ongoing drastic and violent transformation of the landscape along with the different views Palestinians have of the land in relation to their restricted access to it is one of the undercurrents of the exhibition. The question of the erasure of our presence in the landscape and the complexity of remains, traces and testimonies are explored by various artists, while the ongoing fragmentation, loss, longing, memory and nostalgia are themes which run throughout the works in the exhibition explored by artists of different generations in works which question the very premise of these ideas, providing a wide range of perspectives on these experiences.

The Palestinian Museum invites artists and cultural institutions to submit their project proposals for the forthcoming exhibition Intimate Terrains. The proposals should inform one of the following Public programme monthly themes for 2019, regardless of the type of activity:

1. April: Agriculture/ Water/ Ecology/ Environment/ Flora and fauna
The Palestinian farmer pre-1948 became a symbol of a collective identity, and agriculture was the backbone of the local economy. Living in a biodiverse landscape influenced Palestinians’ relation with their environment. Through the years, numerous challenges have affected this relation, mainly due to the environmental violations of the occupation, and denying the Palestinians the right to fully access and benefit from their natural resources. This theme addresses the question of landscape in terms of water resources, local ecology, environmental change, and explores the flora and fauna of Palestine.
2. May: Palestine in Western representations: Contemporary Media/ Orientalists/ Biblical imagination
The landscape of Palestine as a Holy Land was portrayed by many Western travellers, pilgrims, and orientalist scholars through the centuries. It was depicted in travel journals, illustrated bibles, paintings, and some of the earliest photographs and moving images ever produced. Some of these depictions presented the place as an exoticized biblical site frozen in time, therefore rendering its people as not relatable, invisible, and their land as primed for dispossession and colonisation. This theme explores these representations and their role in the current reality, as well as their successor contemporary media representations/misrepresentations of Palestine and its land.

3. June: Art/ Cinema/ Music/ Design/ Pop culture/ Iconography
This theme explores the changing representation of landscape in Palestinian art, across a range of creative fields; visual arts, cinema, posters, pop culture and iconography, and examines how these representations have been connected to and affected by the transformation of the landscape through the years.

4. July: Music/ Folklore/ Village architecture
Palestinian traditions and social customs are strongly related to and influenced by the local landscape. This influence has manifested in various songs, dances, musical creations, and folktales. This theme specifically looks at the questions of traditions related to locations and landscapes, taking into consideration the transformations of these traditions over the years, especially after the displacement of Palestinians from their cities and villages. It also dedicates a specific focus to village architectural traditions.

5. August: Geography/ Cartography/ Archaeology
Mapping is inherently linked to control, whether it is used as a tool of colonialism or everyday route navigation. In Palestine, the power of maps is a lived reality, where Palestine is often erased from global maps, and navigation apps don’t recognize Palestinian streets and villages.
This theme looks at the politics of the representation of Palestine in maps and cartography, historically and politically. It also examines the politics of archaeology and its relevance to Palestinian discourse, and how it is used to claim authenticity and ownership of the land.

6. September: Urban planning under occupation/ Architecture/ Settlements
Palestinian landscape has witnessed a growing wave of urban expansion. A random expansion for the most part that is subjected to numerous political and socio-economic forces, which make landscape and urban planning a much-needed and daunting task. This theme specifically explores the transformation of the built environment in Palestine, across different historical periods and looks at the implication of different historical, social and political factors on the development of the urban environment. It includes Israeli settlements and their effect on planning for the near or distant future.

7. October: Movement/ Walks/ Trails/ Borders
This theme explores the movement of Palestinians across internal and external borders, as well as at the practice of walking, hiking and trails in Palestine. Walking, a basic human activity can have a loaded meaning in the Palestinian context. It is a powerful reminder of Palestinians restricted movement, their disappearing land, and walking as means of reclaiming the land.

8. November: Literature/ Language/ Poetry
In Palestinian literature, landscape appears frequently and takes on multiple roles. Authors and poets highlighted landscape as a symbol, a stage that holds an eventful moment, an element to talk about Palestinian identity and more.  This theme follows these articulations of land and landscape in writing, language and poetry. It also explores different Palestinian literary traditions and narrations.

9. December: Politics/ History/ Negotiations
Politics is one of the main forces that have reshaped and defined the Palestinian landscape. This theme looks at the wide and far-reaching issues of the political discourse surrounding Palestinian land, including power relations, peace negotiations, global and local political actors. It also explores moments in the historical discourse related to the Palestinian landscape, for example, the role of collective memory in writing a history that resists a dominant narrative that is mostly framed through a Zionist and Western lens.

Proposals should include the following:
- Idea or concept and its relation to the theme of Intimate Terrains.
- Objectives of the proposed activity.
- Expected outcomes - these could include either a collective or a per participant final product.
- Detailed action plan outlining how the activity will be implemented.
- Proposed dates and duration: total hours/days, and hours per day.
- Materials and equipment required for running the activity.
- Proposed budget, including artist fees and any additional expenses.

Selection Criteria:
The Museum’s artist-selection committee will evaluate and select projects according to the following criteria:
- Novelty of the concept, objectives, relevance to the exhibition’s theme and targeted audience 40%.
- Ability to execute the activity and expected outcomes 30%.
- Proposed budget and required materials and equipment 30%.

Interested applicants are invited to send proposal submissions by email to activities@palmuseum.orgno later than February 10, 2019.