Artists Launch Fundraiser in Support of Looted West Bank Arts Center Dar Jacir
June 14th, 2021
The nonprofit Association for Modern and Contemporary Arab Art (AMCA) has launched a fundraiser in aid of the Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research, which sustained heavy damage in May, when it was reportedly ransacked by Israeli occupation forces. Led by Julia Bryan-Wilson, a group of artists and educators including Ahmad Diab, Asma Kazmi, Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers, and Nada Shabout are among those behind the effort, which is aimed at rebuilding the independent arts center founded by Golden Lion–winning Palestinian artist Emily Jacir with her sister, filmmaker Annemarie Jacir, in Bethlehem in 2014.
Among the items taken during the raid were phones, computers, hard drives, and cameras. The historic nineteenth-century structure housing Dar Jacir sits near the entrance to El Khalil Road linking the West Bank city of Hebron to Jerusalem, and is only some six hundred feet from a portion of the Israeli Separation Wall protecting the Jewish holy site of Rachel’s Tomb. Offering educational, cultural, agricultural, and film programming, the center additionally hosts artist residencies, and in the months before the incursion had welcomed British writer Isabella Hammad, Chilean American composer Nicolas Jaar, and Cuban American artist Coco Fusco, among others.
The fundraiser’s organizers hope to raise $50,000. Besides being used to repair damage to the art center’s home and to support its staff, funds will also go toward the restoration and maintenance of its urban garden, which was completely decimated earlier in May as fires were set around the arts center, forcing the evacuation of resident artists there. The fundraising initiative has gained widespread attention in the artistic community, with donors to date including American geographer and photographer Trevor Paglen, Iraqi American artist Michael Rakowitz, and American philosopher Judith Butler. The campaign ends June 23.