In attempting to develop links across Palestine’s fragmented geography, the second edition of “Qalandia International” – Palestine’s contemporary arts biennial – undoubtedly faced challenges. Whether the festival should even take place, given the recent bombardment of Gaza, was brought into question before this year’s launch in Ramallah.
Yet, the organising committee decided the festival should go ahead as planned, “in spite of the collective wound and pain incurred … and in defiance to the horrific loss of life, suffering and destruction … in a spirit of collective creative resistance…”
Under the title “Archives – Lived and Shared”, Qalandia International has brought together more than 100 Palestinian and international artists for 26 days of exhibitions, installations, conferences, conceptual art and performances. At one exhibition opening, organisers felt the need to be clear about the context in which the festival is being implemented: “We are artists and we don’t respect politically imposed boundaries or decisions. By ‘Palestinians’ we mean all Palestinians around the world. By ‘Palestine’ we mean all of Palestine.”