The Public Outreach Program aims to promote Palestinian contemporary culture and life through creative encounters that target primarily the younger generation of artists and performers. It is a platform to showcase young talent in music, art, literature and cinema, as well as presenting a rich program of talks and performances about the city and its history, interpolated by an assortment of culinary activities involving local chefs and non-professional members of the community. Artists, writers, historians, musicians and performers are invited to give public performances including talks, discussions, readings, shows and film screenings with the aim to bring together community members and creative individuals in a shared space for experimentation, entertainment and free expression.

Blue Spring Memory

Maher and Irena Naji

Memory has always been in need of two main dimensions to be complete. In its structural concept, memory focuses on time and space as two essential factors to crystallize its physical presence, and constitutes a different dimension and space.

The dilemma that we face while constructing the artwork and attempting to achieve the maturity of the idea has always pushed us towards searching for the details of space; subsequently, we begin to feel overwhelmed in the search for a forcibly absent space from the narrative. This in turn has significantly impacted the structure of the artwork: when you own the time factor, which loses its materialistic reflection through the space, you find yourself forced to search through the layers of collective memory.

The idea of this project revolves around presenting the lost spatial status of the recipient and the spectator in order to connect it with sentiments. The congestion and frequency of events, in addition to the growing alienation, have urged us to fabricate the components of the absent space with all its elements of life and aestheticism through the documented narrative. Sentiment and collective memory are two irreplaceable elements in the context of continuity.

-Maher & Irena Naji (Palestine, 2015)

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Maher Naji was born in Jabaliya Regufee Camp in Gaza, where he studied until leaving fro Russia in 1983 to study at the Baron Stieglitz Art Academy in St. Petersburg. After receiving his PhD in Arabic Architecture, Naji returned to Gaza to pursue art where he has exhibited extensively. 

Irena Naji was born in Russia and attended the Baron Stieglitz Applied Artistic Academy in St. Petersburg, where she met Maher. She returned to Gaza with Maher in 1994, when she began to regenerate Palestinian cultural heritage with a new technique and representation. 

More information on the Najis can be found here