Exhibition Review

12 Cities

Review date: 01-09-2018

An Interactive Exhibition
Nol Design Studio
Ghadeer Najjar and Shireen Salman

Massive restrictions on movement have given Palestinians a distorted sense of distance and have limited their travel between cities, thus affecting their cultural knowledge of the Palestinian story and the historical connection between cities within Palestine and with the Levant. Ghadeer Najjar and Shireen Salman, artists from Palestine, travelled to Palestinian cities, villages, and archeological sites to enjoy the beauty of both urban and rural areas and to represent, in minimalist fashion, little-known cities.

Postcards with sketches drawn by architects at Nol Design Studio.
Postcards with sketches drawn by architects at Nol Design Studio.

In their first exhibition, which will take place at Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem beginning on September 7, 2018, and at Bab idDeir Art Gallery in Bethlehem in December, 2018, they introduce cities of Palestine through skylines, maps, and quotes. An interactive exhibition that uses vibrant rainbow colors allows visitors of various ages to engage in imaginary travel between cities and momentarily forget all travel restrictions that are presently in effect.

Posters with sketches drawn by architects at Nol Design Studio wrapped and ready to ship.
Posters with sketches drawn by architects at Nol Design Studio wrapped and ready to ship.

The exhibition in Jerusalem will run for one week, with the inaugural event set to take place on September 7. A variety of food from the 12 chosen cities will complement the exhibition, as will music and comfortable rooftop seating.
To some, the exhibition will bring back nostalgic memories, and to younger generations, it will be a learning tool used to explore Palestinian cities that are off-limits due to the travel restrictions. 12 Cities is a project that aims to increase awareness about cities in historical Palestine and Palestinian cultural heritage, shedding light on architectural styles, traditional food, and hospitality, without ignoring the present reality within these cities. One of the project’s main objectives is to reconnect Palestinian society through cultural events and the creation of conversation space to exchange knowledge about the various cities.

City Map Poster prepared in color by architects at Nol Design Studio.
City Map Poster prepared in color by architects at Nol Design Studio.

Nol Design Studio artists who share the same vision decided to work together to disseminate their works throughout the world. The studio aims to reintroduce the forgotten rich architectural and cultural heritage of Palestine through minimal sketches. Since the establishment of Nol Design Studio, artists have initiated various projects to raise awareness about beautiful elements in Palestine. The collections Color and Post and Eat, Pray, Shop are two of the projects that have been created since November 2017. The exhibition 12 Cities sheds light on the beauty of Palestinian cities, especially after the heart-wrenching physical and dramatic separation of communities that live in different parts of the country.

This exhibition – the first event conducted and designed by the studio – would not be possible without the support of several institutions and individuals, and the 12 designers who present their cities through their artworks.

Visit the Studio Facebook page, Nol, and Instagram page @noldesignstudio to check out their work.