Open call for proposals

Deadline date

The Palestinian Museum is preparing an exhibition for early 2021, with the Palestinian coast as its main topic. The exhibition will explore the history and contemporary reality of the Palestinian coast and will highlight it as a central element in shaping Palestinian history, geography and identity. It will illuminate the history of coastal villages and cities, which were at the vanguard of Arab modernity and engaged in the Mediterranean’s economy prior to 1948, while highlighting its people’s steadfastness in the wake of the devastation of the Nakba and highlighting the fate of those forcibly exiled. The exhibition also seeks to explore Palestinian urban and rural space, the sea and landscape, as well as urban, rural and nomadic social life on the coast from the 18th century to the present.

Palestinian Shores (working title) is a research-based exhibition and as such, the Palestinian Museum calls on artists, filmmakers, musicians and researchers in cultural, urban, social, media and anthropological studies to submit proposals for interventions and/or artworks that speak to the exhibition’s conceptual research premises. The exhibition aims to spur critical research that fills knowledge gaps away from glorified views of history.

Through the submitted artworks, interventions and research, Palestinian Shores will trace temporal and spatial convergences by exploring topics associated with the conceptual premises outlined below. In doing so, the proposed contributions will delve beyond the dualities suggested by the premise headings, thus arriving at wider themes built on individual, collective and spatial narratives.

Construction and Destruction (spatial, political, temporal):
This section aims to examine the coast’s significance to the political projects that entailed recurrent cycles of construction and destruction; beginning with the development of Akka and Haifa by Zahir al-Umar, arriving at the Nakba and ultimately, modern gentrification campaigns. The Palestinian diaspora’s relation to the loss of the homeland after the Nakba and the building of their contemporary lives will also be explored.

Openness and Isolation (social):
The exhibition seeks to highlight one of the prominent values associated with coastal cities: openness to diversity. Coastal cities were meeting hubs for outsiders and afforded a degree of individual and collective freedom. The shifts in these values in the wake of the Nakba will also be examined. 

Disruption and Fragmentation of the Landscape:
Based on this premise, the exhibition will examine Palestinian networks between the coast and its local surroundings, including the relation among coastal cities and their urban and rural neighbours. The current disruption or absence of these relations will also be probed.

Modernity and Colonialism (Political/Economic):
This premise seeks to highlight the central geographic role the coast had in Palestine and its Arab surroundings as an important hub for contact with the world and as a setting that embraced commerce, agriculture and industry via regional ventures.

 Application Requirements
This is an open call for artists, architects, musicians, writers, filmmakers and researches in urban and social studies and related fields, provided the following requirements are met:

- A short bio not exceeding 250 words.
- A short summary of previous works and research.
- A high-quality personal photo.
- Intervention/artwork summary (no more than 500 words), including the core idea and an overview of its correlation to the exhibition’s general concept. The summary must reflect the extent of the proposed contribution’s relation to the candidate’s body of work and particular modes of expression. It must also detail the desired goals of their participation in the exhibition, the research-based questions they aim to pose or address, and the nature of the final product.
- Audio-visual materials, texts, or references the participant wishes to present or utilise for research (optional).
- An initial workplan that describes (as much as possible) the stages of research and production, the implementation timeframe - and expected technical requirements.

How to Apply
Required documents must be submitted in a single PDF file titled with the participant’s name. Texts must be sent directly, and links provided for original visual artwork or copies available online.

Application deadline is Friday 15 May 2020. Required materials must be included in one correspondence directed to:

A special committee will evaluate the conceptual and research focus of the proposals on behalf of the Palestinian Museum. Projects will be chosen based on selection criteria set by the committee. Proposals will be evaluated in two stages:
First: Proposals will be shortlisted according to the set criteria.
Second: Additional evaluation will be conducted, including interviews and a presentation by candidates detailing their concept. The candidate may be asked to further develop their original concept. A final selection will then be made.

Selection Criteria

- Consistency with exhibition themes and conceptual premises.
- The degree to which the proposal complements other proposed works and research materials.
- Originality and creativity in proposed work and suggested presentation methods.
- Novelty of ideas and questions raised around the exhibition topic.
- Candidate’s previous artworks or research.
- Thoroughness and maturity of ideas and coherence of their elements.
- Feasibility of execution in relation to the exhibition’s nature, specifications, space and available resources.

Application Timeline

April 2020: Open call for proposals

May 2020: Selection and concept development

June 2020: Workplan formulation and execution

June – July 2020: Research required for intervention/artwork.

July – September 2020: Artwork or intervention production, implementation and submission.

This exhibition is supported by the A. M. Qattan Foundation through the ‘Visual Arts: A Flourishing Field’ (VAFF) Project, funded by Sweden