Bait al KARAMA is a collaboration between the Women Committee of the Nablus Old City Charity Society, led by Fatima Kadumy, the visual artist Beatrice Catanzaro and the cultural manager Cristiana Bottigella.
The Nablus Old City Charity Society The Charity was established in 2001 in order to provide support to the local community of the Old City heavily proved by the siege during and after the second Intifada. The Nablus Old City Charity Society’s activities ranged from housing rehabilitation to humanitarian aid, in cooperation with other local organisations as well as international NGOs. Since 2008 the Charity is officially registered as NGO counting 120 active members, 45 of which are women. Between 2001 and 2008, 90% of the activities of the Charity focused on relief programmes, while, since 2008, the focus moved, from the state of emergency, to a more developmental approach. Among the main activities and programmes of the Charity: rehabilitation of buildings in the old city, with the support of the Municipality of Nablus and the Province; sheltering of more then 140 families whose houses were demolished under the IDF attacks; employment programs for youth and adults in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and with the European Community; distribution of circa 34.000 food packages over three years; collaborations with international organisations (such as Aid Association, Save the Children, Medics Without Borders etc.) for psychological counselling in the Old City; summer camps for children, involving circa 300 kids yearly, with the support of the Ministry for Youth and Sport
Fatima Kadumy, responsable for the The Women Committee of the Nablus Old City Charity. Since its foundation in 2001, the Charity established a women committee devoted to a wide range of activities with the female community of the Old City: counselling and psychological support for women under trauma (“lost women”) and building capacity programmes focusing on income generating activities for those women who became the first resources of income in their family; providing loans to encourage women to initiate small projects.
Beatrice Catanzaro is a visual artist who, since several years, is devoted to expand the possibility of public art and social based practice: “I moved from country to country in the last ten years, implementing a series of art projects always dealing with the social dynamics and problematic I was encountering. However, the frustration of not leaving a tangible follow up to those project, lead me to this adventure. To challenge the possibility that an art project could have a concrete interference in reality.
Cristiana Bottigella is a cultural manager based in London. Her interest in interweaving cultural, economical and social practices, in frames such as social enterprises, was a strong inspiration for the design of Bait al Karama. Cristiana has worked since years in the treshold of culture, art and society, inspired by the possibility to design new models for cultural, social and economical practices.