Noor Abuarafeh, a Palestinian artist, living and working in Jerusalem, was in-residence at Delfina Foundation during summer 2018.

Noor Abuarafeh working at Delfina Foundation. Courtesy Arturo Bandinelli.

In her practice, Noor addresses memory, history, archives, and the possibilities of tracing absence. Her text-based videos and performances question the complexity of history, how is it shaped, constructed, made, perceived, visualised and understood. She considers how all these elements are related to fact and fiction, as well as the possibility of imaging the past when there are gaps in documentation.

Photograph of the Palestine and Arabian gallery at the Imperial War Museum. Catalogue number: Q 62949.

During her residency Noor undertook a rigorous inquiry instigated by a photograph she found in the archive of the Imperial War Museum in London. A photograph of an exhibition, without caption or accompanying documentation, but which appeared to be about Jerusalem, initiated a investigative journey to uncover the story behind. From this starting point, Noor’s research spanned outward to consider the histories, narratives and legacies of museums in the city.

Rumours began some time ago (2018). Publication by Noor Abuarafeh.

The research resulted in the publication Rumours Began Some Time Ago (2018), which charts Noor’s personal journey to uncover of the details of the exhibition. Click the image/link to browse the online version of the book. This publication was made possible through the additional support of Al Ma’mal Foundation.

This residency project fits into Noor’s long-term research-based practice, which traces ‘lost exhibitions’ and artworks that left Palestine to Europe. Lost, overlooked, or hidden, these artworks and exhibitions can be seen to take on a metaphoric quality in her practice for displaced people and histories.

Video courtesy 4Cs


Noor Abuarafeh’s residency at Delfina Foundation was co-funded by Creative Europe and the Royal College of Art, part of 4Cs: from Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture. This is a European Cooperation project seeking to understand how training and education in art and culture can constitute powerful resources to address the issue of conflict, as well as to envision creative ways in which to deal with conflictual phenomena.