International Academy of Arts students graduate, showcase their work at “2018 Degree Show”

Birzeit University, in partnership with the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art and the Oslo National Academy of Art, celebrated the graduation of the 2018 International Academy of Art Palestine’s thirteen graduating BA students on June 9. Birzeit University hosted the thirteen, all majoring in Contemporary Visual Art, as visiting students for the academic year 2017-2018, under the project Development of Faculty of Art and Music and Transition Phase of (IAAP) BA Contemporary Visual Art at Birzeit University funded by the Norwegian Representative Office. 

The International Academy of Art Palestine IAAP was one of the key projects for the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art (PACA), established in 2004 and continued until 2017 by a group of Palestinian artists. PACA was concerned with developing and advancing the practice and knowledge of contemporary arts, through learning, capacity building, and resource networks, via innovative programs and its institutional model

Dr. Abdullatif Abuhijleh thanked the Norwegian Representative Office for its continuous support to Palestine in general and the arts in particular. He added, “We are proud to cooperate with the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art and the Oslo National Academy of Art, which have contributed to enhancing the students' artistic knowledge. Through this fruitful cooperation, Birzeit University has been able to develop and introduce a bachelor's degree program in Contemporary Visual Art, which is the cornerstone for students and artists to engage in artistic and cultural debates and to provide artistic and intellectual space for the production of contemporary art and promote it within the university community on the one hand and the Palestinian and global society on the other. "

During the ceremony, the following congratulated the students for their graduation: Vice President for Planning and Development Dr. Mirvat Bulbul, the former Chairman of the Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art Khadija Oweidat and the current chairman Osama Nazzal, Nina Schjelderup from the Norwegian Representative Office, and the Oslo National Academy of Arts, represented by George Morgenstern. The Palestinian Association for Contemporary Art honored Birzeit University, the Norwegian Representative, the Oslo National Academy and Dr. Tina Sherwell, Director of the Contemporary Visual Art Program at Birzeit University, for their continued cooperation and support of the visual arts.

The ceremony ended with the distribution of certificates to graduate students and the attendees visiting the art students’ exhibitions at Birzeit University Museum and Gallery Darj at Birzeit University. The graduation projects were represented using several media including videos, photos, installations, paintings, drawings, and performances, to raise social, political and cultural issues. Their work focused on the Palestinian collective memory of youth, the archives of Palestinian cinema, the symbolization of olive trees and the Dead Sea, Palestinian martyrs, the body and the woman, family rituals, contradictions within Palestinian society and the concept of freedom and the city.

 The exhibitions will be open daily except Fridays and Sundays from 10:00 - 3:00 until June 28th at Birzeit University Museum and Gallery Daraj at Birzeit University.