Historical Archive

Since 2008, the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery has operated a historical archive that holds a collection of photographs, commissioned photographs, oral interviews, and mementos that tell the story of life in Umm el-Fahem and the Wadi Ara area since the end of the 19th century.

The establishment of the archive began with the creation of the exhibition "Memory of a Place" at the gallery in 2008. The exhibition, curated by photographer Guy Raz and supervised by Prof. Mustafa Kabha, was very successful, especially as it attracted 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 the Wadi Ara must 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 February 2011.

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

The archive has already produced a large catalogue in three languages of the main body of photographed materials, titled "Memory of a Place," that accompanied the exhibition of 2008. The archive staff is working toward the publication of another volume that will encompass 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. Everyday work in the archive is conducted by Muhamed Hanni, Layla Gabarin, and Eman Agbaria.