Palestine: Unlimited Photo Exhibits in Madison

Now Through Saturday, June 16:
Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 1502 Parkside Dr., Madison 241-9796
First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., Madison 233-9751
Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd., Madison, WI 238-7119
Memorial United Church of Christ, 5705 Lacy Rd, Fitchburg, WI 53711 273-1008
Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, 110 N. Gammon Rd, Madison 829-2136

The entire exhibit of 24 photos is divided among these churches.

Palestine: Unlimited is a collection of award-winning photos by Palestinians on exhibit in the U.S. The photos, reflecting Palestinian views of their culture and way of life, is on display at Madison-area churches. The display is open to the public daily during regular hours of each church.

This exhibition is derived from a signature initiative of the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. The exhibit, featuring the ten finalists from the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition – named for a pioneering 20th century Palestinian female photographer – helps break through icons and stereotypes, in order to experience Palestine as it really is. In the words of photographer Ala’a Abu Salem: “These portraits aim at representing the Palestinian away from any ties, connections or expectations with themes and specific subjects. In short, it is an attempt to break the stereotype and overused image of the Palestinian person.”

Sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem. See sample photos and messages from the artists.
 

Palestine: Unlimited

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[TOP] A visitor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco views photographs from the first annual Karimeh Abboud Award Competition. [BOTTOM] Luay Sababa’s photograph “Checkpoint 300” captures Palestinian workers at the main checkpoint in Bethlehem. (STAFF PHOTOS PHIL PASQUINI)

 
Elaine Pasquini, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 2017 March-April

Throughout the month of December, photographs from the first annual Karimeh Abboud Award Competition were on display in St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco. The exhibition, “Palestine: Unlimited,” was presented by the charitable organization Bright Stars of Bethlehem. Bright Stars is dedicated to the support of the Bethlehem-based Diyar Consortium, which includes, among other Bethlehem institutions, Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture, which initiated the showing.

Hailing from across all of historical Palestine, the 10 finalists were Mohammed al-Kurd, Mohammad Shaloudi, Luay Sababa, May Hirbawi, Saleh Zghari, Waseem Ali, Majd Sanuri, Reem Awad, Alaa abu Salem and first prize winner Nihaya al-Haj Mahmoud. The exhibition was curated by filmmaker Mahasen Nasser-Eldin, who teaches film studies and production at Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture.

In presenting their wide range of subjects, the artists utilized various styles of photography, including experimental, abstract, conceptual and documentary.

Luay Sababa’s wrenching photo “Checkpoint 300” captures Palestinian workers traversing the checkpoint in Bethlehem—where unemployment is high—to work in Israel.

“Our Mother is Palestinian” by Mohammad Shaloudi offers an oft-seen vignette in the Old City of Jerusalem of a mother selling her vegetables in the street.

May Hirbawi’s photo “Demolition Order” reveals a Bedouin learning his home will soon be confiscated and demolished.

“There’s been a lot of talk recently about the need for empathy and to take someone else’s point of view,” Randy Schieber, chair of St. Mark’s endowment fund, which helped sponsor the exhibition, told visitors at the Dec. 4 opening reception. “This exhibit really puts us in the eyes of these young adults in Palestine and offers us a glimpse into their lives.”

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