In August 2004, representatives from London made an intensive study visit to Palestine, meeting artists, academics and cultural contacts in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Gaza to engage them in a dialogue and stimulate a sense of shared ownership for the project. With the site launch in January 2005, all are invited to take part in its development. Content includes a library containing resource and archive material, listings, photographs and reviews of exhibitions and events, and links to academic institutions providing theoretical and historical art courses. An editorial team divided between the UK and Palestine is commissioning and repurposing international features in English and Arabic highlighting current debates in art and Palestine. Maps are an important part of the site and real exchanges between Palestinian and artists from other countries will be organised and documented, alongside residency and mentoring programmes. Although never intending to be a physical academy of any sort, the site carries with it a naïve but nonetheless classical sense of hope. It provides a formal framework for practical help and a platform for critical debates. It is a conceptual space in which everything can be reflected and projected.
ArtSchool Palestine is an initiative founded by like-minded individuals from the UK and Palestine, with support from Visiting Arts, Charles Asprey and Sacha Craddock, the Qattan Foundation, the British Council and the Arts Council.
Further information please visit www.artschoolpalestine.com