Lydda-A Garden Disremembered
A. M. Qattan Foundation in cooperation with Birzeit University Museum
Curatorial Committee: Vera Tamari, Iyad Issa, Amer Shomali, Ziad Haj Ali, Yazid Anani, Abed Alrahman Shabaneh
Opening: Thursday 4 October 2018 at 1pm
Exhibition continues until 15 January 2019
Birzeit University Museum, Birzeit
Lydda is a divided city that has gone through a long-engineered process of displacement of its native Palestinian inhabitants especially since the Nakba (Palestinian exodus) of 1948. The city was planned to be a modern utopian garden city during the British Mandate by Clifford Holliday and Otto Polcheck and was intended to host only British colonisers; it was, however, looked upon with an Orientalist gaze for preserving its underdeveloped biblical landscape in areas where the local population lived. It offered a strategic train junction that connected North Africa with Lebanon and Syria, and through its airport, military and civilian flights connected the city with the rest of the world.
Artists are invited to examine the controversies and analogies dealing with the imported British colonial planning paradigm and what that entails from post-industrial spatial forms and ethos, the transformation of Lydda to an ethnically cleansed and segregated city that had been despotically altered and the systematic racial planning policies that aimed at disempowering and suppressing Palestinian communities in favour of Jewish immigrants. Do the now displaced Lyddans carry platonic memories of their city? Perhaps not the paradise garden forseen by Holliday and Polcheck , but a city of once historical and social coherence where harmony has now been replaced by chaos and violence.
Researchers: Hadeel Yaqoup, Manal Massalha, Razan Khalaf, Tareq Khalaf.
Artists: Alexandra Brunt, Luca Vanello, Mahdi Baraghithi, Maria Kaik, May Herbawe, Tina Willgren.
5th of October 2018
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
A M Qattan New Building, Al Tireh, Ramallah
Participating groups: Diverse
Open to the public
10th of October 2018
An alternative political tour to discover the city of Lydd and its Palestinian history.
The walk program
The tour starts at Lydd central bus station
The bus tour begins with a visit to the Mahatta neighbourhood to discover the history of the neighborhood, the Nakba in the context of Lydd and the current situation of the residents.
Apartheid regime in the city
Shnir Orchard- Apartheid wall separating the neighbourhoods of Shnir and Moshav Nir Tzvi, and Ghani Aviv neighbourhood.
The settlement project and the Judaization of the city. (Eliashiv Project)
A short bus tour between different neighborhoods.
Meeting with local leaders and activists to learn about the city and the conditions of its Palestinian residents.
End of tour
About the tour guide: Khalil Abu Shehadeh, a social and political activist from Mahatta neighbourhood, and an organizer of alternative political tours in the cities of Lydd, Ramla and Jaffa.
2 - 3pm
Reading from the book: In the Land of My Birth: a Palestinian Boyhood by Reja-e Busailah
Reading by: Abed Al Rahman Shabaneh
Birzeit University Museum
Talk: Lydda refugees and the commercial industrial history of Ramallah
Speaker: Naser Rumanneh
Birzeit University Museum