Wafa Hourani is a Palestinian artist living and working in Ramallah. Combining photography and sculpture his Future Cities projects deal with the social, political, and economic realities of Palestinian life to develop grim and apocalyptic predictions for the residents of the West Bank. Qalandia 2067 takes its name from the main checkpoint crossing through the West Bank Security Fence which divides the cities of Ramallah and ar-Ram; it is a site of political unrest and human rights concerns. Dating his piece 2067 – one hundred years after the Arab-Israeli 6 Day War – Hourani has constructed 5 scale models envisioning the future of a refugee camp where time seems to have regressed rather than evolved. Basing each segment on an actual site – the airport, border crossing, and 3 settlements – the buildings are rendered as war-ravaged and crumbling, crowned by implausibly archaic remnants of TV antennae. Each building is a miniature light-box illuminating glimpse into the private lives of the residents through film strips placed in the windows, an unnerving reminder that this science fiction horror is, for many, an everyday experience.
The Saatchi Gallery - Unveiled
Wafa Hourani - Palestinian Artist - Photography - Installation - Science Fiction
The Historical Timeline of Qalandia 1948 - 2067
Israelis took over Palestine and ethnically cleansed hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages. Palestinian refugees were forced to settle in many refugee camps in the surrounding region. Qalandia camp was located in a piece of land between north Jerusalem and south Ramallah, becoming home to thousands of refugees. Qalandia was named after a nearby airport with the same name.)
The Israelis occupied the rest of Palestine, and Qalandia airport became a remote military zone, except that it was located at the entrance of Ramallah, where many visitors from Jerusalem passed.
The first Intifada erupted, and the airport became a confrontation line between Qalandia's residents and Israeli soldiers.
The second Intifada broke out. The Israelis built a massive checkpoint next to the airport that overshadows the refugee camp. Qalandia checkpoint became the main crossing between northern and southern Palestine.
The Israelis built the notorious Apartheid Wall to isolate the Palestinian population in the occupied West Bank. Qalandia became even more isolated by giant concrete blocks from its surroundings.
Yasser Arafat, known to be an icon of the Palestinian national liberation struggle, died in a hospital in France, and the Palestinian people were to fill the void he left behind.
A Palestinian from the camp by the name of Abu Jamil missed the sea and the fish so much, he dug a pool beside his home and brought a goldfish to swim in it. People in the camp say that Abu Jamil brought us the sea. The fish loved the camp so much, it got used to the people visiting her laying in the sun and having barbecues by its pond.
Soon Abu Jamil's goldfish became a local attraction for the refugees.
After many years of living in what became an overcrowded open-air prison, the Palestinian Mirror Party (PMP) decided to cover the wall with mirrors to create the illusion of more space and seeing their reflection everywhere. They begin to wonder how they got in there.
Qalandia School changed its name to Impossible School.
And the students closed the basketball rings; no goals in the game.
An Israeli tourism company built a discothèque bar with an aquarium and one goldfish, near the checkpoint. They called it Checkpoint Bar to encourage trippy, political tourism.
Palestine made the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest mirror in the world. It attracted many tourists from around the world to come and visit Palestine.
Searches at the checkpoint changed from palm scanning to an audiovisual-check; you look into the blue light and say: Weehaa!
The Israelis fixed laser lights on holes in the wall to tighten security. The Palestinians were furious as the holes were meant to remove the WALL not fix laser points in it.
The goldfish died. All the camp grieved and said: “The fish died, the sea died.” They took out the water and buried the fish and called it the Fish Tomb. The visits then changed from picnics, singing and dancing to a Martyr’s memorial, where flowers were laid by the grave and silence kept
The Palestinians start talking about the revolution again. They built the Stone Garden to commemorate 50 years since the first popular Intifada in 1987.
The Palestinians improved their economic situation after a complete boycott of Israeli products. This prompted many investors to move from Dubai to Ramallah.
The Palestinians built a garden in the camp and called it the Flower Garden. It became a romantic meeting point for young and old lovers from the camp.
Students at Qalandia School opened their basketball rings, but they made them very wide.
Palestinians refuse to say Weeha while they pass the checkpoint.
The Israeli government shut down the Mirror Party offices in Jerusalem as the police launch a campaign against anyone possessing a mirror.
The Israeli company for tourism changed the golden fish in the Checkpoint Bar to shark fish to make it more adventurous for the tourists.
The Mirror Party reopened their office in Jerusalem.
Palestinians use the mirrors on the wall as an electric power plant.
Three candidates from the Mirror Party won seats in the Israeli parliament.
Wafa Hourani - Photolife - 2008