Thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts!
Thanks to you we've reached our first goal and we'll be able to buy the first stones of the el-Atlal residency.
But we don't plan to stop now!
The 15.000€ we've collected represent only a small fraction of the construction costs. To keep the project rolling before we lay the first stone in Jericho we're planning a number of events. And we need you!
You can still support us by participating to our crowdfunding and help us organize events around el-Atlal. You can check out the details of the events we are planning in the "Why fund it?" paragraph below?
And, as a thank you, enjoy this video of Dalida. We love it!
Created in the summer of 2014, el-Atlal (the Ruins) is a cultural network that aims to support artistic exchanges between Palestine and the world. The project will be implemented in Jericho.
The project will take the form an artists' and writers' residency in the heart of Jericho, an oasis in Palestine. Open to all artists of the world, el-Atlal aims to highlight the potential of Palestine as a territory of creation. Before the construction proper, el-Atlal will organize cultural events in Paris, Jericho, and all over the world.
el-Atlal will be built progressively, by modules. This crowdfunding campaign will allow us to buy the raw material of the residency: the stones which will be used to build the first module. By participating in our crowdfunding campaign, you will help us start giving life to the residency as soon as possible.
To read more about the project, visit our website.
Palestine benefits from a long history, a cosmopolitan and ever-renewed culture and a diverse geography where the desert, the sea, forests, urban centres and small agricultural villages coexist in an extremely small space. As such, it is highly conducive to literary and artistic production.
el-Atlal aims to revalue the potential of Palestine as a breeding-ground for culture by inviting artists and writers from all over the world to work and exhibit here.
The el-Atlal residence hinges around the idea of the ruin. In pre-Islamic Arab poetry, the ruin was the locus where the lover stood and looked for the traces of his lost love. From this place of negation and loss, a new poetic voice was born. Jericho is a city that has called destruction upon itself. It was and still is despised, smothered and desired, a place of both wistfulness and hatred. History has made it alternatively into a fortress, an oriental Las Vegas, a slum, a garden of Eden, a petrified jewel.
The residence will provide all necessary equipment to artists during their stay. They will be accompanied by local agents that will help them travel throughout the country and will have at their disposal most materials they have requested beforehand. Similarly, we will be working with a provider in Palestine in order for them to acquire any extra material they would need at an affordable cost. The residency will have several work spaces, including a dark room, computers and IT material, art supplies and different spaces where work can be done by oneself or in group.
Jericho, known as the city of the moon, is often said to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. Its historic heritage gives it a special kind of enchantment: the ruins of an Omayyad winter palace overlooking old mosques coexist with the pagan roots of the city and with an abandoned casino, previously destined mainly to the Israeli population. All of this gives Jericho a special place in local imagination.
The existence of Jericho, as that of any oasis, is something of a miracle. This is why it remains to this day a city of pleasures. Marc-Anthony offered the city, as he would have a jewel, to Cleopatra. Looming over the city, the troglodyte monastery of the Mount of Temptation still carries this essential part of the oasis: a city of sins, of love and joy, Jericho has been the target of immemorial hatred. But, like its flamboyant trees, which grow in the desert for no discernible reason, the city knows how to rise up back from every one of its downfalls.
The el-Atlal residency aims to give a new breath of life to the city, building upon its ruins a possible horizon of creation. Geographically, Jericho is an interface. It stands halfway between the cities of the north of the West Bank such as Ramallah or Nablus, and those of the south, such as Bethlehem and Hebron. Jericho is most notably the point of entry into Palestine through Jordan. As such – and for most Palestinians who are only allowed to leave the country through Amman – Jericho is an interface between Palestine and the world.
The golden triangle of culture in Palestine stretches from East Jerusalem to Ramallah and Bethlehem. By integrating Jericho not as a fringe of this triangle but as a centre, el-Atlal creates a new cultural dynamic. At the same time, it remains a mere car-ride away from the cities of the golden triangle.
A groundbreaking architectural project
The sophisticated know-how concerning the structural and thermal use of stone in Palestine is disappearing. This know-how is an essential element of Palestinian heritage: even more so nowadays, when the morphology of Palestinian cities is undergoing a chaotic change.
Just like the el-Atlal foundation, AAU ANASTAS wishes to think this residency by exploring techniques and practices that are deeply rooted in Palestinian culture. We hope to bring about a sophisticated mode of construction, which emphasizes both older ways of building and new techniques of production and digital simulation.
The residency will comprise a series of three-dimensional stones arches, which will form a platform: below will be the indoor space and above the outdoor working space. Each module will be determined by a unique form.
The structural independence of each arch will allow for a progressive design of the project, depending on functional and budgetary restrictions. The cutting of the stones will be made on the basis of the research results of SCALES, the research department of AAU ANASTAS.