Noor Abuarafeh


Prints, 2013


Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family

It is said that nostalgia burdens black and white photographs, particularly when the photos come from a family archive which contains locations, people and times, and – most importantly – the moment captured. They dwell in our memory.


Different elements may stand out forcefully to some more than others, often a matter of age, when the viewer perceives that the people in the picture are no longer among us.


These photographs are part of the family archive that my grandfather took a long time ago in several places in Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt, where he worked as a taxi driver.


The work is an attempt to create an alternative archiving by dismantling its components and re-archiving them, as well as outsourcing them to the general collective space.


This new archiving is a way to propose a single reading for these photographs while avoiding the nostalgia that exists in most black and white photographs, especially in a place like Palestine.


In this work, I examine the borders between personal and general, public and private, the collective and the individual.

Noor Abuarafeh

(1986, Jerusalem)


Abuarafeh got her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and followed this with a one-year study program in Lebanon (Homeworks Space Program) at Ashkal Alwan.


Her recent works explore elements related to memory, history and identity using public and personal archives (oral stories, blogs, photographs, books). The artist examines these elements through a process of dissembling, using an allegorical language to reveal different readings related to the aforementioned elements (memory, history and identity). In the last two years she completed a residency in Paris, at the Cité International des Arts, and in Japan, at Tokyo Wonder Site.


Noor was a member of the Open Studio group that organized several exhibitions in Palestine followed by workshops, lectures and collective projects, including the Young Artist Award Exhibition in Ramallah, Identities in the World in Japan, A Fish, a Wish and an Untitled Event in Ramallah, and Eye on Palestine in Brussels.


Abuarafeh lives and works in Jerusalem.


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