The Arab Museum of Contemporary Art in Sakhnin, will open on 17th of June 2015. The museum holds a collection of 200 contemporary international works of art. The museum is a cooperative initiative of Belu-Simion Fainaru and Avital Bar-Shay, initiators and directors of the museum as well as initiators and curators of the Mediterranean Biennale in Sakhnin together with the Municipality of Sakhnin, thereby creating a new reality of cooperation between Jews and Arabs.
AMOCA, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, Sakhnin, is the first museum of its kind to be established in an Arab city in Israel. For the first time in Israel an Arab museum of contemporary art will open and present exhibitions of leading artists from Israel and the world. The goal of the museum is to exhibit local and international contemporary art in order to promote peace and dialogue by means of art activities, mutual confidence building between neighbors and a strengthening of values of equality and mutuality leading toward the creation of an infrastructure for human dialogue and coexistence between communities and cultures in conflict. Belu-Simion Fainaru and Avital Bar-Shay, the initiators and directors of the museum, hope that through the intervention of art controversies could be bridged with the emphasis on multiculturalism, art creativity and human dignity as well as vision and hope for coexistence and a better future.
AMOCA, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art , Sakhnin, is presently hosted in the Bet Netufa Association of Cities – Environmental Center. The aim of AMOCA is to enhance the dimension of mobility, to expose the works of art of the local and the world's best artists to people in various regions of the Galilee and the periphery, and to stay in places that are not normally exposed to contemporary art exhibitions. AMOCA, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, opens its gates in Sakhnin with the aim of making contemporary art accessible to the Arab and Jewish population living in the region through the display of art in direct contact with the people and in co-operation with them, art that creates contacts in the local and international dimensions. The vision of AMOCA is to create dialogue, meeting and co-operation between Jews and Arabs by means of contemporary art in change-generating projects with the aim of creating a platform for building mutual trust and resolution of disputes in alternative ways. In a likewise outlook, a center for conflict resolution and management, "Beyt al-Sulah", has been set up in the place in order to enable a dialogue and to arrive at solutions and agreements between the sides. This incorporation of AMOCA, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, with the Conflict Settlement Center is an expression of the desire to create co-operative activity based on the need to accept the other while increasing awareness of alternative approaches to dialogue and agreement. Fainaru and Bar-Shay conceived the vision of the museum after having launched the Second Mediterranean Biennale in Sakhnin in the previous year. The museum will open this June thanks to the cooperation of the Mayor of Saknin, Mazen Ghanaim, and the Sakhnin Municipality.
The opening exhibition of the museum is titled HIWAR. The word HIWAR in Arabic has two main definitions: either to describe a calm conversation between two or more people, or (especially in a political or conflict context) to describe a process by which two or more parties engage in a conversation that is calm and free from animosity with the aim of reaching an agreement on a certain issue. These two definitions are exactly the same ones found in dictionaries to define the English word “dialogue.” HIWAR , dialogue is a process that allows people, usually in small groups, to share their perspectives and experiences with one another about difficult issues. “HIWAR” , dialogue is not about winning an argument or coming to an agreement but about understanding and learning. “HIWAR” , dialogue dispels stereotypes, builds trust and enables people to be open to perspectives that are very different from their own. Dialogue can, and often does, lead to both personal and collaborative action. HIWAR, dialogue is a spiritual, transformative journey of understanding the other.
The list of artists exhibiting includes:
Adel Abdessemed, Marina Abramović, Larry Abramson, Anna Andres, Abir Athalla, Asad Azi, Mahmud Badarnah, Avital Bar-Shay, Raed Bawayah, Matei Bejeranu, Nathalie Mba Bikoro, Bashir Borlakov, Daniel Buren, Thorsten Brinkmann, Barbara Eichhorn, Mounir Fatmi, Belu-Simion Fainaru,Mekhitar Garabedian,Jeanno Gaussi,Moshe Gershuni,Maïmouna Patrizia Guerresi,Rawan Ismail,Nidal Jabarin,Huda Jamal,Muhammad Said Kallash,Dani Karavan,Jannis Kounellis,Mehdi-Georges Lahlou,Almagul Menlibayeva,Bohtaina Abu Milhem,Shirin Neshat,Herman Nitsch,Zohdy Qadry,Anahita Razmi,Valentin Ruhry Angelika Sher,Eva Shlegel ,Cengiz Tekin,Jesica Vaturi,Maria Vedder,Johannes Vogl,Micha Ullman,David Wakstain,Runi Zarawi
At the opening, the museum will launch an artists hosting program that will encourage Israeli and international artists to come and stay at the place in order to create an interchange of experiences and cultures as well as to run art workshops and community creativities. Furthermore, the museum will launch a community educational program. The Mediterranean Biennale events will continue to be held and will be incorporated in the art program of the museum. Further details regarding the museum and the exhibition HIWAR as well as an invitation to tour the museum will be announced later.
Address: Dohaa st. 100, near the Dohaa stadium, Sakhnin. (hosted in the Bet Netufa Association of Cities – Environmental Center)
Opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 10 am- 4pm (during the Ramadan 18th of June until 20th of July the museum will be open Sunday – Thursday 10 am- 2pm
Photos provided by Arab Museum of Contemporary Art in Sakhnin