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We’re creating a visionary, artist-run space for art, education, and research in our 127-year-old family home in Bethlehem.
We’re creating a visionary, artist-run space for art, education, and research in our 127-year-old family home in Bethlehem.
445 backers pledged $60,685 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$60,685

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Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research will be an autonomous cultural center located in our family home, built by my great great grandfather al Mukhtar Yusuf Jacir in 1890 in Bethlehem. 

We envision the center as a place in which the history and the contemporary conditions of Bethlehem will meet, enabling the production of new works of art and visions of the future. It will be a learning hub for the Bethlehem community and beyond — a place to ask questions, exchange ideas, and grapple with our present-day situation. 

Our focus will be on visual art, cinema, and the construction of a research center to house the Jacir Ottoman archives — a vast collection of rare visual and textual material from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We will also be hosting a small residency program with a special focus on the Bethlehemite community living in Chile. There will be a myriad of activities including workshops, exhibitions, master classes, and a place for visiting international and local artists and scholars to come and stay.

About the site

Located on the main Jerusalem-Hebron road, we are in the middle of Bethlehem’s three important refugee camps: Aida, Dheisheh, and Azza camps. In 2004, Israel illegally built a wall in the middle of Bethlehem just steps away from Dar Jacir, interrupting the historic Jerusalem-Hebron road for the first time in its history. As a result, the area around our house has become the flashpoint of fierce clashes between the Israeil Army and Palestinians. We have already rebuilt parts of our damaged grounds several times over the last several years and have had our building sprayed by Israeli skunk water. The wall has dramatically changed the lives of those of us who are struggling to retain the historical, economic, cultural and social value of our street and our city.

Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir
Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir

About the house

The house is part of our local collective memory in the Bethlehem area and it must be preserved for the sake of the whole community. It embodies an incredible amount of history and has stood strong through countless wars, occupations, revolutions, celebrations, downfalls, and upturns. It holds the history of this city in its very walls. We believe that our role in protecting this house is a very important one, for it is the bridge between our past and our future. We have spent the last year working on the designs for our center in collaboration with the architectural preservation group RIWAQ.

Architectural Plan
Architectural Plan

About the restoration process

The house has been officially inspected and assessed by RIWAQ, the designs have been finalized, and local contractors have been hired. The work to be done includes renovation, restoration, plumbing, electricity, rewiring, fixing the roof, setting up the rooms for the archive, exhibition, workshops, residency, and the public bathrooms. It also includes using the well of our house for all water supplies so that it is green and self-sufficient. 

This phase of the project will take six months, at which time we will be ready for our soft launch. From September through January we plan to introduce the building to the community and begin the work of setting up our archive and residency and public programming which will all start early 2018.

The green space around the house is being rehabilitated, and will be used for artistic and educational activities for youth from the neighborhood in partnership with Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society.

View from Dar Jacir of the Jerusalem- Hebron Road and Rachel's Tomb, circa 1905
View from Dar Jacir of the Jerusalem- Hebron Road and Rachel's Tomb, circa 1905

 

About the archive

Dar Jacir will house the Yusuf Nasri Suleiman Jacir Collection, which contains extremely rare records of one of Palestine’s most important and successful Ottoman-era merchants. The peak period of globalization in Bethlehem was at the turn of the twentieth century, when Ottoman-era merchants from Bethlehem were moving around from month to month, in and around Latin America, East Asia, as well as other parts of the Ottoman Empire. 

The collection includes diaries, photographs, ephemera, newspapers, personal letters (exchanged between Bethlehem and various points around the globe dating from the 1880s to 1930s), ledgers, correspondence, and an extremely rare in-depth archive of international financial transactions kept in ledgers which span a period of over 50 years. These documents are especially precious and rare because they date from the golden commercial era of Bethlehem, prior to British rule, when the city was a cosmopolitan and international center.

Our project will rescue this very important collection and ensure that it will be safe for future generations.

Partners

We are super excited to have great partners who will be collaborating with us on various aspects of our project. We hired RIWAQ who will be renovating our building; IPS will be working with us on our archive; we will collaborate with Bethlehem University on workshops and lectures; and Al Rowwad will partner with us on activities in our green space. I also want to give special thanks to the Queens Museum. 

This project has been selected for inclusion on Art Basel's curated page on Kickstarter. Check out out their curated page kickstarter.com/artbasel to learn about other great cultural projects.

 Rewards

Pledge $5 - A virtual hug and a Jacir avocado recipe!
Pledge $5 - A virtual hug and a Jacir avocado recipe!

 

 

Pledge $15 - Downloadable link to "When I Saw You"
Pledge $15 - Downloadable link to "When I Saw You"

  

Pledge $25 - Emily will mail you a postcard from Bethlehem of this 1911 Jacir wedding at our house!
Pledge $25 - Emily will mail you a postcard from Bethlehem of this 1911 Jacir wedding at our house!
Pledge $50 - A copy of TRANSLATIO personally signed to you
Pledge $50 - A copy of TRANSLATIO personally signed to you

 

Pledge $70 - Your own personal Dar Jacir vignette!
Pledge $70 - Your own personal Dar Jacir vignette!

 

Pledge $100 - a signed copy of "A Star is as Far as the Eye Can See and as Near as My Eye is to Me"
Pledge $100 - a signed copy of "A Star is as Far as the Eye Can See and as Near as My Eye is to Me"

 

Pledge $250 - Exclusive Pre-launch Dar Jacir tour!
Pledge $250 - Exclusive Pre-launch Dar Jacir tour!

 

Pledge $250 - Jacir Goody Bag!!
Pledge $250 - Jacir Goody Bag!!

 

Pledge $300 - Signed, limited-edition 9 X 12" print by Emily Jacir.
Pledge $300 - Signed, limited-edition 9 X 12" print by Emily Jacir.

 

Pledge $500  - A tree named after you in our garden!
Pledge $500 - A tree named after you in our garden!

 

Pledge $750  -  Sunset apperitivo with Emily and Annemarie!
Pledge $750 - Sunset apperitivo with Emily and Annemarie!

 

Pledge $1,500 - Private dinner at Dar Jacir!
Pledge $1,500 - Private dinner at Dar Jacir!

 

Pledge $3,000 - take Annemarie’s famous Palestine Tour!
Pledge $3,000 - take Annemarie’s famous Palestine Tour!

 

Pledge $4,000 - Name a character in Annemarie's next film!
Pledge $4,000 - Name a character in Annemarie's next film!

 

Pledge $7000 - Limited Edition print from Emily's "stazione"!  S. Zaccaria!
Pledge $7000 - Limited Edition print from Emily's "stazione"! S. Zaccaria!

 

Pledge $7000 - Limited Edition print from Emily's "stazione"! Arsenale!
Pledge $7000 - Limited Edition print from Emily's "stazione"! Arsenale!

 

Pledge $9,000 - Join Annemarie and her cast and crew at the world premiere of her next film!
Pledge $9,000 - Join Annemarie and her cast and crew at the world premiere of her next film!

 

Pledge $9500 - Take Emily's famous Chile tour!
Pledge $9500 - Take Emily's famous Chile tour!

 

Pledge $10,000 - Be a guest of honor at our residency program for one week!
Pledge $10,000 - Be a guest of honor at our residency program for one week!

Why kickstarter?

Dar Jacir is a local, grass-roots, and artist-run initiative for the community, and we want it to be community funded. My family is embarking on this project independently and without the financial backing or input of international development organizations working on the ground in Palestine, nor local governmental authorities. This means that we are truly an independent space and are not bound to the obligations or visions of any foreign institutions, donors, or local governances. Unlike non-governmental organizations whose funding guidelines restrict the vision and possibilities for artists to create work, we believe that artists should be supported from within their community. We hope to create a safe place for uncertainty, doubt, experimentation, and even failure. We believe that it is important to show that initiatives like ours can exist.

About Emily Jacir

Emily is an artist, filmmaker, and educator from Bethlehem who has been teaching at the International Academy of Art Palestine for the last ten years. She is one of the world’s most important and influential contemporary artists. Her works about transformation, questions of translation, resistance, movement (both forced and voluntary), exchange, and silenced historical narratives have been exhibited in major international group exhibitions since 1994, including at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Jacir is also the recipient of major art prizes and awards from around the world, including a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale and the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum. 

Emily being awarded a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. © La Biennale di Venezia, ASAC, Fototeca, foto Giorgio Zucchiatti
Emily being awarded a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. © La Biennale di Venezia, ASAC, Fototeca, foto Giorgio Zucchiatti

About Annemarie Jacir 

Annemarie has two films which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, one in Venice and most recently Berlin where When I Saw You won Best Asian Film. She has written, directed, and produced over sixteen films. One of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 Faces of Independent Cinema, her film like twenty impossibles was the first Arab short film in history to be selected to Cannes and continued to break ground when it went on to be a finalist for the Academy Awards. As the founder of Philistine Films, an independent production house, Jacir collaborates regularly with fellow filmmakers. She also teaches screenwriting and works as a freelance editor as well as screenwriter and script consultant. 

Annemarie receiving the Best Asian Film Award at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, NETPAC award
Annemarie receiving the Best Asian Film Award at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, NETPAC award

 

Risks and challenges

Honestly, we know it is crazy and wildly ambitious to undertake a project like this in a country under occupation and in a house that is on the front lines of confrontations, but it is for those very reasons that this project must go forward.

Renovations are risky but we have been working closely with architects and engineers to ensure that the risks are minimized. This is precisely why we have chosen to hire RIWAQ, as they have spent more than two decades documenting Palestinian heritage and culture through restoration of the built environment.

Delays and interferences in our work are highly possible given the political situation on the ground and especially in our area. But that will not stop us from moving forward — it will simply take a bit longer.

This project has been a shared dream of mine and my family’s for over 15 years. Finally in 2014 it became possible for us to pursue it, and so we came together and started working on this great undertaking. Now we are almost there! Our team is small — our family — but we work hard and are passionate and committed. We always come through.

Additionally, my sister and I have a proven track record of creating successful historic public projects, films, and workshops around the world. We hope you will join us in fulfilling this dream and we promise we will keep you up to date every step of the way.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Crazy for avocados!

    We thank you for getting involved in the project and send you a virtual hug. We will email you one of our favorite simple avocado recipes from Chile!
    We are crazy for avocados at Dar Jacir. The avocado is not native to Palestine but was imported here by Palestinians who were living between Palestine and Chile back in the early 1900's. Now they are a staple in the Palestinian diet!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Downloadable link to "When I Saw You"

    "When I Saw You" by Annemarie. This feature film starring Saleh Bakri was Palestine’s 2013 Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

    Jordan, 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in “temporary” refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A postcard from Bethlehem!

    Emily will mail you a hand-written thank you from Bethlehem on a signed, limited-edition postcard with an image selected from the Jacir Family Archive.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Your very own copy of TRANSLATIO!

    Emily will personally sign and dedicate and mail you a copy of her book TRANSLATIO. Published by NERO in Roma, Italy, TRANSLATIO is a collaborative publication by Emily Jacir, John Lansdowne and Christopher MacEvitt, proceeding from Emily Jacir’s Via Crucis, the newly-completed permanent installation commissioned by artache at the church of San Raffaele in Milan. Uniting the artist with two scholars of the Medieval Mediterranean, John Lansdowne and Christopher MacEvitt, the book illustrates the movement of objects, images, people and places between Palestine and Italy.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Your own personal Dar Jacir vignette!

    A one minute scene of unedited video of daily life at Dar Jacir filmed by either Emily or Annemarie on their phones and then emailed directly to you. Each video will be one of a kind and there will be no duplications.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A star is as far as my eye is to me

    In 2015 The Khalid Shoman Foundation published "A Star is as Far as the Eye Can See and as Near as My Eye is to Me" the most extensive monograph to date on Emily Jacir's work in English and Arabic. Get your own copy personally dedicated to you by Emily.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Exclusive visit to Dar Jacir!

    Join Emily and Annemarie on an exclusive private 60 minute tour of Dar Jacir before we open to the public! We will give you a private tour of the grounds, the workshop rooms, residency space, exhibition hall, archive and the roof. We will discuss our programs and plans with you can give us your input on future programming. We hope to meet you on site but if not can arrange a virtual skype tour.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Jacir Goody Bag!

    Get a bag of goodies which includes:

    1. Downloadable link to "When I Saw You" by Annemarie. This feature film starring Saleh Bakri was Palestine’s 2013 Oscar Entry for Best Foreign Language Film.

    2. A one minute scene of unedited video of daily life at Dar Jacir filmed by either Emily or Annemarie (YOU choose!!) on their phones and then emailed directly to you. Each video will be one of a kind and there will be no duplications.

    3. A Star is as Far as the Eye Can See and as Near as My Eye is to Me" the most extensive monograph to date on Emily Jacir's work in English and Arabic. Get your own copy personally dedicated to you by Emily.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Limited-edition photo by Emily Jacir.

    Signed, limited-edition 8 X 12" print by Emily Jacir.

    dar, 2017
    Digital C Print
    Edition of 100

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A tree named after you in our garden!

    We will plant a tree in your honor in our garden and mark it with a small sign with your name on it. We hope you can come see it but if not we will take a picture and email it to you!

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Sunset apperitivo!

    Sunset apperitivo! Watch the sun go down over Bethlehem and Bayt Jala on the Dar Jacir roof. Then get ready for a wild night of barhopping in Bethlehem with Emily and Annemarie

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Private dinner at Dar Jacir!

    Dinner for you and a guest with Emily and Annemarie at Dar Jacir. We will serve some of our secret traditional Jacir recipes. It also includes special guests of honor from the Palestinian film and art world. Plane tickets, accommodations and travel permits are the responsibility of the backers.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Annemarie’s famous Palestine Tour

    A private 2 day driving tour of historic Palestine designed especially for you +1. Includes Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jaffa and many other places in historic Palestine.
    Flights, accommodations and meals not included. Dates must be mutually agreed.

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    Name a character!

    You can name a character in Annemarie’s next feature film!

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    Arsenale from Emily's "stazione"!

    A signed limited edition print from Emily Jacir's "stazione" project which was commissioned for the 53rd Venice Biennale for Palestine c/o Venice. Situated on each of the 24 vaporetti stops along route #1 of the water bus route, beginning at the Lido stop and ending at Piazzale Roma, Emily translated the names of each station into Arabicto then place the Arabic translations on all the stops next to their Italian counterparts, thereby creating a bilingual transportation route through the city. The Arabic inscriptions were meant to place each floating platform in direct dialogue with the surrounding architecture and urban design, linking them with various elements of Venice's shared heritage with the Arab world.
    stazione (Arsenale) 2009
    Edition # 3/7
    digital c-print on aluminum
    18 1/4 x 23 3/4 in/ 46.4 x 60.3 cm

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    S.Zaccaria from Emily's "stazione"!

    A signed limited edition print from Emily Jacir's "stazione" project which was commissioned for the 53rd Venice Biennale for Palestine c/o Venice. Situated on each of the 24 vaporetti stops along route #1 of the water bus route, beginning at the Lido stop and ending at Piazzale Roma, Emily translated the names of each station into Arabicto then place the Arabic translations on all the stops next to their Italian counterparts, thereby creating a bilingual transportation route through the city. The Arabic inscriptions were meant to place each floating platform in direct dialogue with the surrounding architecture and urban design, linking them with various elements of Venice's shared heritage with the Arab world.
    stazione (S.Zaccaria) 2009
    Edition # 3/7
    digital c-print on aluminum
    18 1/4 x 23 3/4 in/ 46.4 x 60.3 cm

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    Pledge $8,000 or more About $8,000

    World premiere of Annemarie's next film!

    Join Annemarie and her cast and crew at the world premiere of her next feature film and also get accreditation to attend the festival!
    Plane tickets, accommodations and travel permits are the responsibility of the backers.

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    Emily's famous Chile Tour!

    Fly to Santiago, Chile to join Emily and meet the Bethlemites living there. After 3 days in Santiago (accommodation in Santiago IS included) travel with Emily to the Atacama desert for a hike up Licancabur volcano (3 - 4 nights).
    Plane tickets and travel permits, as well as travel and accommodation in Atacama are the responsibility of the backers. Dates must be mutually agreed.

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    Stay at Dar Jacir for a week!

    Be a guest of honor at our residency program for one week.
    Includes accommodation at Dar Jacir for two people, for 7 days and 6 nights. Dates must be mutually agreed. Plane tickets and travel permits are the responsibility of the donors.

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Funding period

- (31 days)