People's Museum is a special museum, created by a group of Danish artists together with their Palestinian colleagues, with and for the people in one village, Birzeit, without any specific selection principles, without any other aim than listening to some individuals and their stories, and together with the people in the village remember the history for this specific place.
There are three chapters: The Process, The Archive and The Stories. Each chapter contains a rich section of colour photographs, maps and illustrations.
Every item in the Peoples Museum collection, given to the museum by the citizens of Birzeit, is pictured. And all the different stories are transcribed into english and arabic.
People’s Museum is an art project funded by DCCD, The Danish Representation in Ramallah and The Danish Arts Council.
The idea and realization of People's Museum could be situated anywhere in the world, but its location in occupied Palestine gives it a special significance. In a country where people cannot travel freely - but where their tales and objects can - the intention is to spread the idea so that knowledge and culture can be shared. Palestinian culture is usually neglected and suppressed by occupation forces with the intention of denying its very existence: since there is no Palestine, there can be no Palestinian culture. In this context, a museum exhibition showcasing historic and everyday Palestinian culture also becomes an act of resistance. People's Museum is not about the occupation, the wall, the settlements or the checkpoints, but they are reflected both directly and indirectly in the conditions of everyday life in Palestine.
People's Museum is a meeting between very different worlds - an occupied country and its people meeting a group of Danish artists who can travel in and out of Palestine. The aim is to show a varied picture of Palestinians. We want to tell the world about Palestinian life, cultural heritage, dreams, fun, problems etc. - a life that is difficult for many, but it persists in spite of the occupation. This is a project about interconnection between people, the commonalities and differences.
From the Introduction
"...It might sound odd that a people such as the Palestinians, living in one of the world's oldest cultures, at a place where three world religions were founded, with an extremely rich history since thousands of years would need another museum. But this is a special museum, created by a group of Danish artists together with their Palestinian colleagues, with and for the people in one village, Birzeit, without any specific selection principles, without any other aim than listening to some individuals and their stories, and together with the people in the village remember the history for this specific place.
Hundreds of years being part of various empires, and now under a painful occupation, robbed generations of Palestinians of their own history. To build a museum, to collect stories is a peaceful, and meaningful investment in the future of a people. It is an act of hope."
From 2008 to 2009 stood the two groups of artists YNKB (Outer Nørrebro Culture Bureau) and Parfyme behind the establishment of a 'folk museum' in the village of Birzeit in Palestine.
Right now you can gain a unique insight into YNKBs practice in the newly published book about the...
THE JORDAN TIMES - Collecting Living Culture
May 21, 2012
The People's Museum, a project initiated by a group of Danish artists and their Palestinian colleagues, is much more than a collection of artifacts, and this book of beautiful photos and descriptive text covers much more than the museum's contents. It actually walks the reader through the process...
The idea is to create a “from bottom up” museum, which represents a collection of items, histories and memories of the residents in a specific locality in Palestine. The form, the site and the collected items are decided upon through a dialogue between the local residents, local grassroots organisations, art students and artists with connection to the specific locality and the Danish artist groups Parfyme-YNKB.
This project seeks a different approach to the concept of a museum.
It is about how people want to represent themselves.