SEA OF STORIES

QALANDIYA INTERNATIONAL III

5 October 2016 - 15 November 2016

With AHMAD BARCLAY & HANA SLEIMAN // ABDULRAHMAN KATANANI // KAMAL ALJAFARI // DICTAPHONE GROUP // MOHANAD YAQUBI // MAIS DARWAZAH // ARAB PUPPET THEATER FOUNDATION // THE LITTLE LANTERN DANCE AND THEATER WORKSHOP // MAURICIO MISLE // SARAH ZERYAB

Curated by: Rasha Salah

QALANDIYA INTERNATIONAL III | THIS SEA IS MINE

Qalandiya International (Qi) was founded in 2012 as a joint contemporary art event that takes place every two years across Palestinian cities and villages.


Qi aims to place Palestine on the world’s cultural map by producing a series of exhibitions displaying works of art, architecture, spatial design as well as performances, talks, film screenings, workshops and tours, that open up channels for dialogue and exchange, both locally and internationally.

As a partnership between art and culture organizations, Qi works collectively to join forces to unify a fragmented geography.


This edition ‘This Sea is Mine’ crosses the borders of Palestine, contemplating return and refuge for Palestine and the region in Haifa, Beirut, Gaza, Amman, London, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Bethlehem. 

Qi BEIRUT EDITION | SEA OF STORIES

Where should the ships sail after the last shore?


‘Sea of Stories’ explores the displacements and imagined returns of the Palestinian community in Lebanon throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinian experience and imagination has travelled the Mediterranean, temporarily setting anchor in several of its ports, and perpetually seeking the route back to Palestine. In the words of Palestinian poet Tawfiq Zayyad, Palestinians have continued to ‘plow the sea’ in a relentless effort to return.


’Sea of Stories’ seeks to explore those journeys and trace these routes, opening a space for conversation on what return means for today’s Palestinian community in Lebanon. It sets sail from the ports of Tripoli, Beirut, Sidon and Tyr to retrace the journeys of people, ideas, narratives, and objects across the Mediterranean.

Dar El-Nimer would like to thank First National Bank, Welfare Association, Agial Art Gallery, Al Mawred Al Thaqafi, Dar Al Mussawir, Assafir, Al Akhbar and T-Marbouta.

Special thanks to the team of Qalandiya International, Saleh Barakat, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), Akram Zaatari, Mustafa Kassem and El-Nimer Collection.

EXHIBITED PROJECTS

SEA OF STORIES: Voyages of the Palestinian Archives | Ahmad Barclay & Hana Sleiman

The story of the archives of the Palestinian national movement reveals a narrative of exile and fragmentation that reflects the Palestinian experience itself. Building on archival and ethnographic research, this project reconstructs the journeys of these archives across the Mediterranean, connecting locations including Beirut, Haifa, Algeria, Cyprus and Italy. The project explores how much of these archives have been lost, why the remaining fragments are yet to be repatriated, and the ramifications of an archival absence on Palestinian narratives of past, present and future.

THE WAVE | Abdulrahman Katanani

The sea looms large in the language of our imaginations, a site of reflection, voyage, and volatile freedom. It exists as both surface and metaphor. Through it dreams are dreamt, journeys are set forth, and the horizon of life begins to blurt and widen. But the sea opens itself to both naval commander and refugee; it is the means of both conquest and escape. Today we face the sea in an era of occupations, wars, massacres, and mass displacement. Those who have taken to the sea in flight have been met with a second set of dangers: live bullets in Gaza, drowning in the Mediterranean. The sea that shimmers with possibility becomes a site of horror. And so the wave seems to blur into the very tools of these human-made borders: barbed wire.

RECOLLECTION | Kamal Aljafari

The Israeli and American features shot in the town of Jaffa from the 60s to the 90s are the basis for the story of a dream. All protagonists are removed from the original footage, leaving an empty setting formed by the town. Thus, the impossible is made possible from the ‘I’ perspective, namely filming the past and compiling a picture album made of memories. Preserved also is a city, alive again in moving images. Its gradual destruction over the decades is chronicled by film, excavating a whole community and recreating the city. Aljafari erased the actors, photographed the backgrounds and the edges; and made the passersby the main characters of this film. He finds his way from the sea, walks everywhere, sometimes hesitant and sometimes lost. He wanders through the city and memories filming everything he encounters because he knows it no longer exists. He returns to a lost time.

CAMP PAUSE | Dictaphone Group

Rashidieh Palestinian refugee camp is located on the coast of south Lebanon, to the south of the city of Tyre. It is the closest Palestinian refugee camp to Palestine. In Rashidieh, Dictaphone Group worked with four residents of the camp mapping their everyday routes from their homes to the sea. Narrating stories, each participant lead the group towards the final scene in which they place themselves with the background of the sea.

FROM THE EL-NIMER COLLECTION

The El-Nimer Collection has been in the making for over three decades. It is a collection which has grown to become an act of commemoration and resilience against modern erasure of memory and distortion of identity.

The collection sheds light on the complex evolution of the socio-political history of the region through its cultural and artistic productions and includes pieces spanning around ten centuries of civilisation.

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