“Cities Exhibition” Examines Social Restructuring after Destruction

Birzeit University Museum opened on October 10, 2016, the fifth edition of "Cities Exhibition: Gaza Reconstruction".The exhibition is an inquiry on the recurrent notion of destruction and reconstruction as a systematic reinstitution of societies and subjugation of local modes of resistance.

“Cities Exhibition,” one part of Qalandiya International 3, is curated by Yazid Anani, a faculty member at Birzeit’s Department of Architectural Engineering. The exhibition is an experimental project based on contemporary art and cultural practices.

According to Anani, the theme of this exhibition, Gaza and its reconstruction, poses the question as to whether the inevitable economic doctrine of reconstruction complements perpetual Israel’s military destruction of Gaza by removing what is left of its social sphere and resilient communities, and replacing them with a neoliberal Gaza.

This year’s edition presents a group artist exhibition along with a student show at Daraj Gallery, a new art space that engages students in artistic production processes. This showing was accompanied by a group show in Gaza.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman spoke of the exhibition’s uniqueness in offering to professional artists and talented students a space to share their artistic productions.

“We are proud of our students who were able to show case their talents in this project,” Giacaman added. “Many more productions will be showcased after our Faculty of Fine Arts is inaugurated, which will foster critical thinking, visual literacy, dialogue and empathy.”

Museum director Inas Yasin described the university museum as a vibrant and engaging place of continual discovery through its mandate of research teaching, collections stewardship, and public engagement.