Jerusalem Show VI 
Gestures in Time

November 1-15, 2012

Qalandiya International is the first biennial in Palestine – an international contemporary art and culture platform that takes place across Palestinian cities, towns and villages. QI is the first collaborative initiative which pools the resources and work-force of seven Palestinian partner institutions – Riwaq, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art,  A. M. Qattan Foundation, Palestinian Art Court – Al Hoash,  International Art Academy – Palestine, The Sakakini Cultural Center and The House of Culture and Arts in Nazareth – whose joint skills, experience and commitment forge links across a fragmented geography . QI is a take on unity.

Why Qalandiya?

For the past decade, “Qalandiya” has been associated with the Israeli checkpoint that disconnects the West Bank from Jerusalem and the rest of the world. This checkpoint has been highly pervasive in the media and in the visual and literary works produced in and about Palestine.

However, “Qalandiya” suggests other connotations that have been blurred over the years, but  which,  with  a  more  intimate  look,  could  be  uncovered:  the  Qalandiya  Airport,  for example (or the Jerusalem International Airport as it was initially called), the Qalandiya refugee camp, and Qalandiya village (which the Wall has divided into two separate parts). Qalandiya is where many paradoxes meet. It was the point of connection with the rest of the world until 1967 and today has become a symbol of disconnection, isolation, segregation and fragmentation.

The Qalandiya International Biennial will utilize the name and its multilayered and contradictory meanings in an event that seeks to foster and highlight Palestine’s extraordinary creative and productive dynamics on the international cultural scene, while revealing the complexity and potentiality of Qalandiya.

This first edition of QI focuses on exhibiting contemporary Palestinian and international art, highlighting important architectural sites, and showcases art, design, architecture, music projects in combination with walks, performances and education projects.  The biennial engages diverse local publics and international audiences in programs which are not straight jacketed by realpolitik, and allows them to engage with culture in an imaginative and dynamic manner. Encompassing newly commissioned projects, many of which are the result of residences in the region, and presentations as varied as the institutions involved, QI is an inclusive rather than exclusive initiative, both interdisciplinary and open, allowing engagement and implication.