RAMALLAH – A joint venture is exhibiting works of 40 Palestinian artists living and working in Gaza Strip at an exhibition called Traces.
The venture between Padico Holding, Artist Pension Trust (APT), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Institute Francais in Jerusalem, Traces aims to both promote the work of artists living in the Gaza strip to an international audience and to support them.
Traces, which opened yesterday, aspires to allow artists to explore concepts related to memory, evidence, remains and reminders and to consider the importance of documentation and its impact on the present cultural condition in Palestine.
Organizers said they aim to strengthen links between artists and cultural institutions in Palestine through such joint projects.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture Anwar Abu Aisha said, “We had hoped all Gazan artists would be present for the opening, however, the occupation authorities gave permission only to 13 artists to attend the exhibition. The ministry supports Palestinian artists whether from they are West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza Strip to show their works to the world.” UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator Frode Mauring said the UNDP views culture as a central pillar of development.
“UNDP’s programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People regularly organises annual art auctions and exhibition since 2001. It has sold over 250 paintings, and raised around US $200,000 for the artists,” said Mauring.
“This exhibit is no different as it signifies UNDP’s commitment and interest in furthering arts and cultural cooperation. The participating artists from Gaza are a real testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the indomitable will to overcome challenges and rebuild shattered lives.” The joint forum selected Yasmin Sharabi a Palestinian American artist and curator based in Bahrain, to curate Traces based on her experience, background and knowledge of both the international art scene and contemporary practice in the region.
She curated numerous exhibitions in Bahrain and abroad, and is currently Manager of ‘The Harbour Project’ an art space in Bahrain dedicated to supporting and nurturing emerging talent in the region.
“A recent trip to Palestine helped me determine the concept for Traces, as it allowed me to gage the art and cultural scene, recognizing that there is a need to not only promote talent somewhat less visible to the world, but also to give artists the opportunity to consider a theme that is relevant to their current condition,” said Sharabi.-QNA