Printed in Jerusalem
Mustamloun

Curators: Baha Jubeh and guest-curator Abdel-Rahman Shabane
27 July – December 2020


Printed in Jerusalem: Mustamloun explores the relation between Jerusalemites and publications printed in their city—be their content political, educational, commercial, cultural or touristic—by probing the profession of the mustamly. It seeks to analyse the emergence and disappearance duality that was inherent to the publications of nascent social movements within the city. Those movements contended with the governing institutions and tools of censorship they imposed on Jerusalem’s urban fabric.

Printing tools and processes have advanced beyond the exclusive domain of individuals or machinery, yielding novel tools that have altered traditional, established conceptions. Paper is no longer the sole medium for writing, while the process of editing, publishing and disseminating publications is subject to the advancements imposed by modern reality.

Has this reality yielded new mustamloun? What is their nature, and what forms do they take? In light of this reality, what do the new mustamloun dictate in their role as intermediaries between Jerusalemites and their publications?

A mustamly (plural: mustamloun) was tasked with dictating manuscripts to copyists and acted as an intermediary between author and the reading public. Historically, the transmission of content was merely one aspect of the role of the mustamly, the other being that of censorship. They were able to ban and omit, and to promote that which fell in line with their beliefs and intellectual inclinations. The profession of the mustamly is an ancient one that disappeared like others before it as modernisation replaced human voices with machinery’s hum and grind.

This is the second iteration of Printed in Jerusalem, which first opened at Jerusalem’s Palestinian Heritage Museum at Dar Al Tifel AL Arabi in late-2018. It presented a selection from Jerusalem’s Modern Press (Lawrence Press) collection of printing clichés and tools, donated to the museum in 1998. The Modern Press was established in the early-1930s and continued to function until the 1980s.

The Palestinian Museum’s iteration of Printed in Jerusalem expands on the original concept by exploring the city’s political, touristic and cultural role and attests to Jerusalem’s leadership in printing, and in the development and publication of educational resources. This exhibition also sheds light on aspects of Jerusalem’s cultural and social practices and examines its economic and commercial activity by exploring the Modern Press and Islamic Orphanage collections as well as other archives, thereby apprehending the city’s contemporary reality.


Printed in Jerusalem: Mustamloun Exhibition


Printed in Jerusalem


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