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Academy in the firing line

While the Middle East is boiling, some Palestinians are thinking about contemporary art. It is necessary when you are at war.

Four years ago, a Norwegian artist woke up with a wild idea. The artist was Henrik Placht. In his time, he was saved from an uncertain future in the interior of Groruddalen, "a place that had a lot of fellowship and baptism" when he entered the Oslo Academy of the Arts (KHIO). If you are saved, it is fair and reasonable that you save others, Henrik thought, and called the Foreign Ministry.

- Hi, I have a wild idea, he said.

- I would like to start an art academy in Ramallah.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was on the notes and provided funding.

Four years later, two Palestinians visit Oslo to sign a letter of intent with KHIO. Mazan Qupty is a lawyer and chair of the Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art (Paca), and believes the art academy that started with Placht's idea is the biggest thing that has happened to Palestinian art in a long time.

- This will be extremely important for Palestine, and will shape our culture for a long time to come. Come visit in 20 years, and you will see a flourishing Palestinian. . .

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