Caravan Ramallah & Jerusalem 2010

14 February 2010 to 19 February 2010

From 14 - 19 February 2010, 11 European professionals from the contemporary performing arts sector based in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the UK visited Palestine in the framework of an IETM Caravan.

The visit was co-organised by Ramallah Municipal Council, and included trips to meet key people from around 15 organisations in six towns, as well as a lengthy video-conference between 40 West Bank Palestinian artists and cultural managers, the IETM group and a dozen artists and cultural managers from Gaza. In addition, individual participants also followed up their own itineraries and meetings.

As elsewhere in the Middle East, the amount, strength and professionalism of the contemporary arts has risen dramatically in the last 10 years. Of course, artists have extraordinary obstacles in Palestine, due to the lack of mobility and obstacles even to inward mobility (visiting artists and productions).

The participants left with a far greater understanding of the situation and working conditions for art and artists, and were all deeply moved by the warm hospitality and professionalism of their hosts and people they met. The Europeans came away convinced of the necessity to create exchange and cooperation projects with Palestinian counterparts, and felt that this visit certainly helped them to make progress with their ideas and contacts. One need that was echoed by all in Palestine was for training, especially for theatre technicians, but also in general for the cultural sector. To that end, IETM and a number of the participants are discussing possibilities with our Palestinian colleagues.