Art Palestine International is a New York-based cultural organization dedicated to Palestinian contemporary art. We collaborate with museums, galleries, and non-profits to produce art exhibitions, events, and publications.

This blog is a research tool that allows us to chart our research and invite others along on the journey.

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Larissa Sansour in Torino, Italy

Changing Room

The Istanbul Biennial’s Curators Explain This Year’s Theme: Felix Gonzalez-Torres

ISTANBUL— Months of secrecy have just come to an end. Yesterday, the much anticipated “Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial),” 2011, curated by Jens Hoffmann and Adriano Pedrosa, opened for a preview. The 4000 guests were finally allowed to look at an exhibition, which until then, had been kept strictly under wraps.

full info here

“Framed–UnFramed:” exhibition at Birzeit University Art Museum

Salma by Sliman Mansour

The Changing Representation of Women in Palestinian Visual Arts

Hosted and produced by The Ethnographic and Art Museum in partnership with the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, Framed-Unframed is the first critical exploration of the transformation in the representations of women in Palestinian visual arts within a changing political context. The timeframe is from the 1970s to today.

Palestinian artists, whether living under occupation or in the diaspora – artists such as Ismail Shammout, Nabil Anani, and Sliman Mansour – took the lead in the 1960s and 1970’ s  in using the Palestinian female form in their classically rendered paintings. Until today, and despite the changing times, the same iconic depictions of Palestine as the peasant woman in an embroidered traditional costume is used over and over in posters and other mediums, for collective political mobilisation for Palestinian resistance.

The post-1967 iconic or foundational works, mostly by male artists, are represented in this exhibition by Sliman Mansur, Nabil Anani, Kamel Moghanni, Naji al-Ali, and Burhan Karkutli (a Syrian artist who devoted his art to Palestine). These artists have expressed through the female figure the complex meanings of nation, rootedness, resistance, fecundity, and Palestine itself. Salma (1978)by Sliman Mansour, is solidly “framed” within such political notions; she represents a monumental Palestinian woman wearing a peasant dress and holding the fruit of the land in her labourer hands.

While these foundation themes of representation of the female figure continued into the early 1980s, they arguably exhausted themselves by the beginning of the Oslo period.

The earlier trends were also juxtaposed in the 1980s by the emergence of a new dynamic in Palestinian art and more contemporary representations of the female body, continuing with vigour today. Across various geographies and “unframed” by conventional media, Palestinian women artists employed the female body in a surge of challenging works as a reflection of the self, as a critique of feminist discourse, and as a strong conceptual comment on social, political, religious, or environmental issues. The highly charged political works of Mona Hatoum in the 1980s heralded the creative engagement of artists with contemporary modes of expression and the use of technology, video art, photography, installation art, and performance, among others, to convey provocative thoughts and reflective observations. Challenged bythese contemporaryand versatile expressive modes, many Palestinian women artists started to use the female body, often their own, to express strong, individualised, and critically engaging views, thus taking Palestinian visual arts into universal realms of critical debate and conceptual engagement.

Framed-Unframed, which is curated by Vera Tamari and InassYassin, will open at the Ethnographic and Art Museum at Birzeit University on 19 September 2011,and will run until 29 October. It offers a selection of works dealing with the female figure by prominent Palestinian artists including those listed above as well as Laila Shawa, Mona Hatoum, Raeda Saadeh, Mary Tuma, Jumana Abboud, Amer Shomali, Vera Tamari, Inass Yassin, Samira Badran, Hani Zurub,  Ayman Issa, Ahlam Shibli and Rula Halawani.

The exhibition  runs at the  Birzeit University Museum between 19 September  2011 until 29 October 2011.

For more information, please contact

Happy Holidays from Al Mamal Foundation

Al-Mamal Foundation honors Hasan Hourani and Samer Abu Ajamieh

Designing Civic Encounter

Art Territories, curated by Shuruq Harb and Ursula Biemann, offered a series of workshops, symposiums and bus tours in and around the city of Ramallah, July 21-24, 2011.

Entitled, DESIGNING CIVIC ENCOUNTERS, the project was conceived as a vibrant, multimedia laboratory of ideas and debates.  The program included a two-day  symposium on questions of urban transformations in Palestinian and other Arab cities and a workshop with  architect Teddy Cruz.

Participating artists: Yazid Anani, Shumon Basar, Taysir Batniji, Suhad Bishara, Rami Daher, Hangar, Alessandro Petti, Muhammad Shtayyeh and Omar Yousef.

Newton’s Fourth Law by Wafa Hourani

Al Ma’mal Foundation  for the Arts, Jerusalem on view until August 4th, 2011


Degree Show for International Academy of Art

Picasso’s famous “Buste de Femme” arrives in Ramallah!

Six museums, one Dutch, have cooperated to bring Pablo Picasso’s “Buste de Femme” to the International Academy of Art Palestine (IAAP) where it can be seen in a specially constructed room, starting June 24 and continuing until July 20th, 2011. It is  on loan from the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. In conjunction with the painting’s long-awaited arrival,  the Al-Ma’mal Foundation will   document the process of bringing  the painting to Ramallah.  Birzeit University, Sakakini Culture Centre, A.M. Qattan Foundation, The Palestinian Art Court, Windows from Gaza for Contemporary Art and ILTIQA Artists House, in Gaza will offer talks and film programs.


Palestinian women prisoners suffer in Israeli prisons. Reports from Addameer, a prisoners’ support association report on their daily existence.  They suffer from over crowded insect infested cells, isolation from families, absence of Arabic-speaking doctors and  constant fear of rape.

Italian documentary photographer Ventura Formicone’s photographs show  their tortured and tragic  lives.

June 29-July 7,2011

Al-Mahatta Gallery in Jerusalem

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