Debut US tour of “Made in Palestine” exhibition

Artist: Mary Tuma. Title: Homes for the Disembodied, 2000. Media:
50 continuous yards of silk, 13’x25’.

Made In Palestine, makes its first national tour stop in San Francisco, after opening in Houston. This unique exhibit is on view from April 7 through April 21, 2005 at SomArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street in San Francisco and will include an event series.

“This is a momentous occasion because people rarely get to see the rich culture and creativity of the Palestinian people,” says Rayan El Amin of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “This will be a unique opportunity to not only experience art but also to learn about the history and current struggle of the Palestinians.”

Made in Palestine showcases a collection of contemporary art made by 23 Palestinian artists and refugees, who live in the occupied territories and in the Diaspora. Using oil paintings, works on paper, video, sculpture, textile art, ceramics, and photography, the works on display present individual reflections on the Palestinian contemporary experience and the political situation in Palestine.

The majority of the artists reside in Palestine (Ramallah, Jerusalem, Gaza, Nazareth and Betunia) and a few are dispersed across Middle Eastern countries (Syria, Jordan and Lebanon) and the U.S. (North Carolina, Georgia and New York). To view the works in Made In Palestine and for a complete list of artists, see the related links below.

The Station Museum, where the show originated, describes Made In Palestine as “the first exhibit of contemporary Palestinian art ever displayed in the United States.” Gabriel Delgado, exhibit curator, Jim Harithas, director of the Ineri Foundation, and Tex Kerschen, chief curator traveled in the Middle East for a month and met with artists in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria to select the works to be included in the exhibition.

“It is our conviction that the American public deserves to be made aware of Palestinian art as a profound manifestation of the humanity of the Palestinian people,” said James Harithas, Director of the Station Museum.

Artist: Suleiman Mansour. Title: Garden of Hope, 2002. Media: Acrylic on Clay, Dimensions Variable.

Even with the success of Made In Palestine in Houston, the Museum was unable to secure exhibition space at other US Museums. The show has been in storage since 2003 while the curators located venues to showcase it. The post-9/11 climate has created a shift in the arts community. This is why the showing of Made In Palestine at SomArts in San Francisco is so unique.

The Justice In Palestine Coalition (JIP) is organizing the San Francisco presentation of Made In Palestine. The JIP coalition will provide a venue for the cultural expression of the often-silenced point of view regarding the history and current collective struggle of the Palestinian people. “Art can be a great way to get people to see things in a new way, however, cultural expression can also arouse anxiety and hostility as demonstrated by the difficulty in finding venues for this exhibit.” said Susan Greene, clinical psychologist, artist and member of the JIP arts committee.

Covering issues ranging from the Palestinian Diaspora, Israeli occupation, collective punishment, and the daily individual exercise each artist undertakes to survive, Made In Palestine merges the political with the personal.

The fiscal sponsor for Made In Palestine is Middle East Children’s Alliance. In addition, the following organizations are included in the Justice In Palestine coalition that is presenting Made In Palestine: Middle East Children’s Alliance, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee S.F., Stop U.S. Tax Aid to Israel Now (SUSTAIN), Jews for a Free Palestine, Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism (QUIT), International Socialist Organization (ISO), Al Awda, and others.

Artist: Emily Jacir. Untitled. Media: Books in a 36” doorway, installation dimensions variable.

Related Links

  • Full list of Made in Palestine artists
  • Justice in Palestine Coalition
  • BY TOPIC: Visual Art
  • BY TOPIC: Arts, Music & Culture