Open Call for Research-based Artistic Interventions
Exhibition about the Palestinian Coast, 2020

Curated by Iyad Issa
Application deadline: Monday, 30 September 2019

The Palestinian Museum is gearing up for its next annual exhibition, which will be on view through 2020 and will explore the Palestinian coast in terms of its history and contemporary reality. The exhibition will highlight the coast as a central element in shaping Palestinian history, geography and contemporary identity. It will be an exploration of Palestinian urban and rural space and landscapes in addition to urban, rural and nomadic social life on the coast from the 18th century to the present, within Palestine and as it relates to the diaspora. The 2020 exhibition will aim to construct a clear and detailed portrait of a diverse society with all its layers and social orbits. It will examine the pivotal shifts and historical moments, such as Nakba, that have implicated every component of this society, and have actively brought about its geographic and historical marginalisation from its Palestinian, Arab and global surroundings.

The exhibition will be built on extensive research and knowledge production encompassing a critical aspect of Palestinian history and contemporary reality. It will rely primarily on inhouse research, which will be depicted through creative, innovative and interactive mixed media exhibits in addition to participants’ contributions and commissioned works to articulate the exhibition’s concept. These contributions will serve to enrich and support the exhibition’s research concepts, presenting a critical perspective on the present reality and its correlation to the history and geography of the Palestinian coast.

Along these lines, the Palestinian Museum calls on artists, filmmakers, musicians, and researchers in cultural, urban, social, media and anthropological studies to submit proposals for interventions/artworks as contributions to the exhibition that approach its core concept and focal points. Through this exhibition, the Palestinian Museum endeavours to inspire critical research that sheds light on gaps and overlooked details in the knowledge base, foregoing a glorified view of history.

The exhibition will trace temporal and spatial connections through the submitted interventions and research, exploring topics through the conceptual focal points described below and across different time periods. The aim of these contributions shall be to examine the coast and its role within the historical socioeconomic dynamics and the shifts they have undergone. In addition, they shall serve to bolster the contemporary dynamics, presenting a critique of their replacement through colonisation, and revealing the common thread linking all Palestinians wherever they may be. The submitted works should delve beyond the dualities suggested by the focal points described below, thus arriving at universal themes built on individual, collective and spatial narratives, with the Palestinian coast at their centre. These focal points are:

The Centre and the Margin: examines geographical networks across the coast, Palestine’s gateway to its Arab surroundings and the world through culture, trade, agriculture, and manufacturing. It highlights the eventual marginalisation of Palestine’s coast and sea.  

Continuity and Interruption: examines Palestinian networks of association between the coast and its local surroundings.

Modernity and Tradition: highlights the role of coastal regions amid the dynamics that have shaped traditional and modern cultural heritage. Historic factors (Nakba among others) that have hindered or facilitated these dynamics are examined from different perspectives, in addition to their reflection on the present reality.

Construction and Destruction: examines the coast as a stage for the repeated cycles of construction and destruction entailed by political projects, colonisation, expulsion, and the contemporary policies of gentrification, and the subsequent changes to the landscape and its meanings.

Openness and Isolation: examines changes to the social values that encompass openness and communication in view of the coastal regions’ historical association with diversity and tolerance, as well as progressive and innovative thought.

Exhibition Curator: Iyad Issa

Application requirements

This is an open call for artists, architects, musicians, writers, filmmakers and researches in urban and social studies and related fields, provided the following requirements are met:

1. A short bio not exceeding 250 words.
2. A short summary of previous work/research.
3. A high-quality personal photo.
4. Intervention/artwork summary (no more than 500 words), including the core idea and an overview of its connection to the exhibition’s main concept. The summary should illustrate the proposed work’s connection to the participant’s previous body of work and reflect his/her individual styles of expression.  It should also detail the desired outcomes of participating in the exhibition, the questions the work aims to address, and the nature of the final product.
5. Audio-visual materials, texts, or references the participant wishes to present or utilise (optional).
6. An initial workplan, describing (as much as possible) the stages of research and production, execution timeframe, and expected technical requirements.


How to apply

Required documents must be submitted in a single PDF file titled with the participant’s name. Only texts can be emailed directly, while links should be provided for original visual artwork or available copies online.

Application deadline is Monday, 30 September 2019. Required texts and links must be included in one email directed to: 2020exhibition@palmuseum.org

A special committee will set the selection criteria and choose candidates eligible for the second round on behalf of the Palestinian Museum in accordance with the proposed theme and conceptual frame.  Proposals will undergo two stages of evaluation: first, an initial shortlist of candidates will be formed in accordance with selection standards. Second, additional evaluation will be conducted through interviews and candidate presentations outlining the proposal’s general idea, based on which requests may be made by the committee for further improvements to the proposed idea and a final list of participants is formed.

Selection criteria

1. Compatibility with exhibition theme and conceptual focal points.
2. Harmony and compatibility with other proposed works and research materials.
3. Originality and creativity in proposed work and suggested presentation methods.
4. Originality of ideas and novelty of questions tackling the exhibition theme.
5. Candidate’s previous research or artwork.
6. The rigour, maturity and harmony of proposed ideas and their integral elements.
7. Feasibility of execution in terms of exhibition’s nature, limitations, space and available resources.

Application timeline:

September 2019: Open call for proposals
October 2019: Selection and idea development
October 2019: Workplan formulation and execution
October – November 2019: Research needed for intervention/artwork.
December 2019 – January 2020: Finalising and submission of final product.
Second half of 2020: Exhibition launch.