Posted on 12 January 2010 by wlp
Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC), Ramallah
Jan 12, 2010
Under the patronage of Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, Palestine’s largest mural is unveiled. Created jointly by Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) and the Open Workshop for Culture and Arts (OWCA) to honor Palestinian women, it is the culmination of year-long activities centered on celebrating the contributions of women in culture. This project was supported by the EU which has provided almost 70% of the project budget that reached €72000.
Celebrating Jerusalem as the 2009 Arab Capital of Culture, the 20-meter-long mural has been split between Ramallah and Jerusalem University-Abu Dis to reflect Jerusalem’s unity with the whole of Palestine in spite of the artificial separation created by Israel’s military occupation. Many local and international parties have also supported the project.
The festival will begin beside Ramallah’s location and continue inside nearby Ashtar Theater. Participants will enjoy music, art exhibitions, literary reading and a documentary film featuring the artists and the mural’s theme. WATC and OWCA’s devotion to this project reflects their strong belief in women’s crucial role in creating a healthy society, while at once honoring the contributions they’ve made in the field of art, culture and Palestinian heritage.
The artists’ sculpted imagery was inspired by the literature of female Palestinian authors: Laila Al Atrash, Rose Shomali, Dalia Taha, Hala Shrouf, Mai Sayyeg, Randa Jarrar, Rania Rsheid, and Aisheh Owdeh, an old Canaan script. Accordingly, their words have been carved into the mural.
The project included cultural exchange with European artists to enhance local artists’ skills and increase their knowledge of alternative techniques applied in modern and international arts. Austrian sculptor Christian Peintner, French artist and expert in “arts for all” Frank Loret, and Spanish environmental artist Christina Ferrandez led workshops along with local artists Jamal Afgahani, Mazen Saadeh, and American Palestinian artist Julia Bailey.
The nine-month workshop kept its doors open to the public as interested amateurs spent time forming small shapes which have been included in the Mural as flowers, houses, trees, waves, and other beautiful and reflective images. Among the aspiring artists, the workshop was visited by the Minister of culture, Siham Bargouti, a Swedish delegation, and many Palestinians from all walks of life.
The mural’s artists are: Bassam Abu Al Hayyat from Nablus, Mirna Bamiyeh from Jerusalem, Ruba Hamdan from Haifa, Ibrahim Jawabeh from Bethlehem, Randa Maddah from Golan, Lara Abu Sharkh, Afaf Dar Omar, and Maxim Zaqtan from Ramallah. They were carefully selected from a larger group of competitors by a specialized committee.
For more information, you may call the project’s media coordinator Ms. Amal Juma at amalwehda [at] yahoo [dot] com, amalwedha [at] gmail [dot] com or Office:02298849, Fax: 022964746