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“Homage to Saliba Khamis” / Haifa

Year2007
Size
genre environmental sculpture
locationstart of Haddad street, Haifa
materialsperforated iron and aluminium
catalogue number8014-022

Homage to Journalist Saliba Hamis (1922 - 1994)

Saliba Hamis was a journalist, thinker, human rights activist and prominent Palestinian figure in Israel's Communist Party. Died in Geneva in August 1994 on the eve of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations, in which he was expected to hold a lecture. Saliba Hamis was also a close friend, and colleague of Abed Abdi at Al Ittihad newspaper.

Environmental Sculpture in the Hanuka-Christmas-Ramadan festival in the Haifa Neighbourhood of Wadi Nisnas

The project was created during the Holiday of Holidays event.

Wadi Nisnas is one of the most picturesque – and oldest – of the neighbourhoods of Haifa. Its narrow and winding streets, falling away down a steep hill towards the sea, are home to a mainly Arab population and are testimony to the warm and friendly relations existing in this, the most pluralistic of Israeli cities, where Arabs and Jews live together in close proximity.

The Wadi Nisnas Hanuka-Christmas-Ramadan Festival is a social, cultural and artistic expression of these good relations. This “Holiday of Holidays” takes several forms: art exhibitions, music and dance performances, sale of arts and crafts and encounters between artists and the public.

The open air sculptures shown here were part of the Wadi Nisnas Festival of 1997. Together and separately, they relate to an idea combining social and urban interest, the goal of which was to attract visitors to the Wadi Nisnas area.

The artistic interaction in this project stems from the basic character of the place, with its human texture, its urban components, and the social issues dealt with at nearby Beit Hagefen, a centre of Jewish-Arab culture. The art encounter, which was comprised of many elements, material and spiritual, enabled the participating artists to present their works in an open framework, making perceptible the removal of the barrier between what is seen as elitist art and populist art, between intellectual statement and ethnic artistic expression, between “noble” and “poor” materials, between centre and periphery, and between contemporary and traditional approaches. The aim was to create a meeting-point which in the viewers eye will connect into a colourful weave where, without the warp, the weft will have nothing to hold on to.

There was no unifying title for this project. It contained personal artistic expressions appropriate to the place where they were displayed, and linked one to another with the naturalness of their flow, and with something of the theatrical about it, in how they were displayed on roofs, walls, alleys, passageways and other unconventional spaces.

source: Beit Hagefen

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