Tiraz: Widad Kawar Home for Arab Dress collection, by Tanya Traboulsi. © the Palestinian Museum.

At the Seams, 2018

‘At the Seams’ was the Palestinian Museum's first satellite exhibition, which opened at Dar el-Nimer for Arts and Culture in Beirut, Lebanon, in May 2016. Concerning the political history and contemporary significance of Palestinian embroidery, costume and textiles, the exhibition is based on years of original research and extensive fieldwork, and will open afresh at the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit.

Beyond its importance as a cornerstone of Palestinian identity, embroidery has constituted forms of heritage-driven nationalism, militant resistance, nascent economic power and challenge to the infrastructural and cultural violence of the Israeli state. The exhibition includes a newly-commissioned video that brings into the exhibition space the voices of those women and men who continue to embroider in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan today.

Curated by Rachel Dedman, an independent curator and writer based in Beirut, Lebanon.

Intimate Topographies: Be-longing, Nearness and Distance, October 2018

The land has been a central theme in Palestinian art over the decades, through representations of the loss of the land, nostalgia, utopian representations of village and peasant life and of exile and distance from the homeland. Artworks have featured the creation of icons in the olive tree, the cactus, orange groves and the detailed representation of the landscape. Artists have also worked extensively with natural materials in a transformation that saw a move away from narrative and symbolic representations to the indexical markers and actual materiality of place. The representation of the land has not only been focused on the rural hinterland, but the history of representation of the cities as well. Many artists have dealt in their work with a sense of absence, of being out of place, with the homely and familiar that becomes unfamiliar, of things being out of sync and disrupted. Their works suggest a sense of distance from home, or a nearness yet with a sense of loss and alienation, melancholy and the residue of endless waiting and postponement.

The exhibition will explore the themes of the land in relation to the above through a unique selection of works from Palestinian art practitioners working within Palestine and beyond. It will draw on historical works, with works from collections, as well as contemporary art. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with an extended essay covering detailed exploration and contextualization of the artists’ works.

The exhibition is curated by the artist and curator Tina Sherwell. Tina has been the Director of the International Academy of Art Palestine since 2007. It will be held during Qalandiya International in October 2018 at the Palestinian Museum.

Gaza Gateway to Palestine, 2019

Gaza long served as a gateway to Palestine, and was a link between East and West. For over three thousand years, it was a trading hub and meeting place for every culture, language and religion that existed in this part of the world. This explains the vast number of antiquities that have been discovered there in the archaeological excavations undertaken since the late 19th century. In the last two decades alone, tens of thousands of objects have been unearthed. For more than twenty years, Jawdat al-Khoudary has been salvaging and preserving many of the objects that have been unearthed from Gaza’s building sites. His private collection, which includes hundreds of archaeological artefacts representing the lengthy and rich history of Gaza over a period of over 4,000 years, was first exhibited at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007.

The Palestinian Museum will host this collection in an exhibition that will place this rich history and culture within the context of Gaza’s more recent history. Providing an insight into the daily civil, religious and cultural life of the people of Gaza, from the Bronze Age (around 3500 BCE) until modern times, the exhibition will be structured around themes rather than a timeline. In addition to archaeological artefacts, it will also include early photography and maps of Gaza, and items relevant to contemporary issues related to its cultural heritage.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Mahmoud Hawari, Director of the Palestinian Museum.