Recently Fine Arts Honours student Lara Chamas undertook a 3 week exchange to the Academy of Art Palestine, based in Ramallah. Below is a brief synopsis of her trip and the learnings she gained from her time there, which we'd like to thank her for sharing with us.
My exchange was predominantly a research trip to enrich my practice and writing. Ramallah is a vibrant city full of NGO’s and art, serving as a surreal bubble to the rest of Palestine. My practice responds to political problems, historical, societal, authoritative etc., focusing on Australia and the Middle East, the two sides of my cultural identity.
The aim of the trip was to gather materials and experience relevant to the concerns of my artistic practice, adding an element of sincerity to my work, and myself, by experiencing issues I speak of in my work first hand. My trip and studies, though short lived, equated to so much more than I ever could have anticipated.
Through the Academy (IAAP) I met like-minded young and emerging artists who though incredibly limited, geographically, physically and materialistically, create thought provoking work and discussions. I met many incredible minds in the form of lecturers, and was fortunate enough to meet guest artists visiting the Academy, curators, and was a part of a group show with the 3rd year students.
I learnt so much about the incredibly complex history and current political climate of the Middle East, how it is connected to the Western world, and more importantly how essential it is to know what is happening globally, as everything is much more connected than one might think.