Summer 2021

The Palestinian Museum sits nestled among the fertile hills of the West Bank in the university town of Birzeit, several miles north of Ramallah. Its $24 million, LEED-certified campus—designed by Dublin-based architecture firm Heneghan Peng—was inaugurated on May 18, 2016, days after the sixty-eighth anniversary of the Nakba, the events that led to the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. Five years on, the museum has a robust programming schedule and a string of successful exhibitions under its belt. To further explore the role museums can play in reclaiming narratives of dispossession, Artforum invited scholar Hanan Toukan and the museum’s director, Adila Laïdi-Hanieh, to talk about building an institution under colonialism. The conversation took place in May amid Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

HANAN TOUKAN: When the Palestinian Museum first opened

— Hanan Toukan and Adila Laïdi-Hanieh

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