Historical Archive

Preliminary rendering of the future Umm el-Fahem Museum of Contemporary Art

Since 2008, the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery Archive has housed a collection of photographs, oral interviews and treasured mementos that tell the story of life in Umm el-Fahem and the Wadi Ara area since the end of the Nineteenth Century.

The establishment of the Archive began with the creation of the exhibition "Memory of a Place" at the Gallery in 2008. Curated by photographer Guy Raz and supervised by Prof. Mustafa Kabha the exhibition was very successful in attracting local residents of Umm el-Fahem and Wadi Ara who wanted to share their common stories.

Due to the great success of the exhibition, it was determined that the endeavor to collect more materials of a documentary nature about memories of the elders of Umm el-Fahem and Wadi Ara had to continue. It was also clear that "Memory of a Place" should become a permanent exhibition at the gallery, as it finally did with an expansion in of the Gallery in February 2011.

The work consists of filmed interviews of the elders of Umm el-Fahem and the Wadi Ara area, transcriptions of the interviews, and building an efficient and professional digital catalogue to enable easy access to the Archive's collections.

A tri-lingual catalogue (Arabic, Hebrew and English) of the main body of photographed materials, "Memory of a Place," accompanied the 2008 exhibition. Currently Archive staff members are working toward the publication of a second volume that will include transcriptions of the elder's most interesting stories and memories.

The work in the Archive is directed by Prof. Mustafa Kabha, a researcher and lecturer in History and Communication at the Open University of Tel Aviv. The daily archival work is conducted by Muhamed Hanni, Layla Gabarin and Eman Agbaria.