Birzeit University Gallery

The museum’s current director, artist Inass Yassin, commenting on the recent exhibit ‘Unlike Other Springs,’ imagines more than one iteration of the spring of the show’s title.

The museum, she said, “to borrow the expression, is a verb; it’s always happening.” For Yassin, the springtime retrospective reflected the “organic relationship between the university and its context,” always growing, changing, adapting and being reborn.

The exhibition drew from the museum’s permanent collection of 300 works that includes paintings, sketches, multimedia works, video installations and photography produced over a span of some 70 years.

New exhibits are put on three or four times a year, bringing new works to the gallery, or putting a new spin on frames from the archives.

While established during what has become known as the “Oslo period” in the West Bank, the museum has avoided the pitfalls of donor politics and mobilized both Palestinians and internationals to support its growing collection.

The museum’s first works were donated by Swiss painter René Feurer on the occasion of the signing of the Oslo accords by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1994. His massive canvases are on permanent display at the university’s administrative building.

Only three works in the museum’s permanent collection were purchased, the largest of which from a fundraiser for the children of the Ghassan Kanafani Cultural Foundation in Lebanon — the canvas painted on by the children themselves.

Every other work on the walls and sculpture in storage was donated, either by the artists themselves, by supportive Palestinian benefactors, or by international figures contributing to the museum as an act of solidarity.

For a full review of Unlike Other Springs and more on the gallery, check out the full article on EI.

To get to the gallery, take the bus from Ramallah to Birzeit, and ask the guards to show you where it is on campus.

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