The Digital Myth of Palestinian Flora

Wandering with her camera one spring in some desolate spot of Palestine’s middle range mountains, Lois Nakhleh took a photograph of a perennial flower. She made sure to capture the finest exposure possible of that specie, and create a prototype image as a reference to her watercolor drawings. This particular image, whether digital or analogue, went through a chemical or electro-digital manipulation, whereby color, proportions, context, and details changed. However, Lois was able with her perceptive artist’s eye, to transform her assemblage of captured images of flowers into delicately re-represented botanical watercolor paintings. In 2014, Lois Nakhleh generously bestowed her amazing collection of watercolor Palestinian flora to Birzeit University Museum, having in mind that they will be used as educational and learning reference.
Digital copies of Lois’s watercolor flora collection, have been prepared for this project baring in mind, that these images are documentation of the watercolor representations, which are in turn a depiction of the prototype images of the original living species in the Palestinian landscape. These layers of representations have thus inspired an unusual contemporary intervention that engaged students from the Department of Architecture at the university. They were asked to research online the local mythical dimensions of Palestinian Flora, redrawing the original prototypes digitally with texts from the researched information on each flower.
This exercise is a take on of what has become our ephemeral relationship to the Palestinian landscape and nature. An influx of unmemorable images and ‘copies of copies’ of natural flora that appear on tablets and computer screen for not more than six seconds before vanishing irretrievably. There are infinite representations, torn between Instagramming, Twittering, Facebooking, Googling and YouTubeing. The digital becomes the virtual landscape of images and information whereby nature is merely a process of perpetual ‘post-processing’ of images and text through cropping, copying, pasting and color enhancement.
A project done by the students of the Department of Architecture, Birzeit University.
Curated by Yazid Anani and Samar Nazer
Teaching Assistants : Abdallah Hammad and Rula Alkhalili

Duaa Mustafa - Ahmad Nakhala - Sama Snaf - Ibrahem Abo Alwalya -  Shaymaa Mufreh - Ruba Siaj -Halimah Hamdan - Ala Ab Fara - Lina Abugharbieh - Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh - Hala Najib Ahmad Thalji - Haneen Jadallah - Hanin Rabadi - Wala Samarah - Aziz Bannourah - Narmin Dasouqi - Enas Dar Yacoub - Hussam Barham - Yasmeen Albadareen - Sanaa Injass - Asala Al-Amleh - Lana Nofal - Saja Zeyada - Safaa Mustafa - Lina Alaraj - Duna Alamir - Lama Shamasnah - Mahran Abu Hommos - Saja Al-Basha - Monther Sbeaih - Mai Alshayeb - Reina Wael - Shahd Fawaqa - Rula Shaheen - Ahmad Ajrab - Shourouk Bilbeisi -Sari Kouba

Saturday, April 2, 2016 - 18:00 to 19:30