This project developed from a desire to generate ways in which people from diverse geographical backgrounds can relate on a creative level. The aim is to engage in work that combats the current divisive and intolerant political/cultural climate we are facing. In collaboration with artist Julie Fox, local female artisans and children from Beit Ummar we will collaboratively compose a performance piece combining ancient stories, geographical walks, traditional craft and individual creativity. Phase 1 of this project was a development stage in which we traveled to Palestine numerous times to gather research and meet potential collaborators. This all came to fruition within a 2 week children's summer camp where we creatively engaged with the children of Beit Ummar to start learning about each other and breaking down barriers. This camp ended with an exhibition and performance.
For Samak Bilab Bi Delo Phase 2 'House of Princes', we hope to push our relationships further and create a larger network of collaborative groups and a final performance piece. All elements of this work will be realised within Beit Ummar using elements I mentioned in the previous paragraph. The focus is to create work that expands the contemporary narrative of identity within and outside of Palestine encouraging production that has a sustainable impact whilst highlighting skills of local artisans of this geography. Starting with the deep history of embroidery which mapped Palestinian women geographically across the region, we hope to recreate a space for women to reclaim and retell their stories through this practice. Currently we are developing networks between a family run textile factory in Hebron, whose production has fallen steadily due to competitive Chinese markets and Israeli restrictions, UNESCO supported Safi Crafts in Jordan, where they are producing Indigo pigment at the highest quality, the Tanweer Center established in 2017, with the goal of providing the youth and children of Beit Ummar, with the skills needed in our fast,changing and globalised world, and other smaller oragnisations through the Dalia Foundation to source other sustainable materials and local skills.
The work will include discarded materials for example coloured plastics, metals and glass cleaned and cut into shapes to form elaborate scenes and symbols within the pieces. These rich elements of this region of Palestine will become the foundation for the work to grow. Each piece will exist as a mouthpiece for the individual with space to explore their personal narrative.
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Samak Bilab Bi Delo