Ramallah is currently one of the most affluent Palestinian cities with a vivid cultural scene linking it to the regional and international networks. It is considered the most liberal of all Palestinian cities, and home to a number of notorious Palestinian activists, poets, artists, and musicians.
Situated 16 km away from Jerusalem, Ramallah’s history extends to the Hellenistic era. The modern Ramallah was established in the XVI century and has gone through dramatic and rapid changes. Ruled by the Ottoman Era until 1911, the British Colonial Mandate until 1948, it subsequently fell under Al Nakba of 1948, whereby thousands of Palestinian refugees were dispossessed and displaced from the Palestinian coastal cities to the region and other parts of the world. The Municipal archive shows significant documents that affirm the rise in the city's population following the displacement of Palestinians by the Zionist Israeli forces in 1948. The Jordanian rule over the city between 1948 and 1967 has left accounts of documents revealing the affluence of the cultural and art scene in the city and its significance as one of the popular summer resorts in the region until its occupation by the Israeli settler colonial regime in 1967. Ramallah played a major role in the establishment of the alleged Palestinian State with the advent of the Palestinian Authority after Oslo Interim Accords in 1993. Ramallah hosts the main Palestinian governmental and legislative bodies, and many foreign representative offices, international donor organizations, NGOs, civil society organizations, and cultural institutions. Diversity, plurality and openness to differences are the main values anchored in the life-style of the city.
The residency program aims at establishing a platform where artists, researchers and curators are able to reflect on the city’s future through a process that enables them to grasp the city’s past and present. The residency is structured on a research based methodology whereby the hosted artist is invited to probe the history and present of Ramallah and produce relevant cultural material that reflects and imagine the city’s future. The programme encourages the residents to meet key local actors and research public and private archives.