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Cells of Illegal Education (2016)


Cells of Illegal Education (C.I.E) is a video dance installation that revisits gestures of civil disobedience carried out during the First Intifada in Occupied Palestine. More specifically it reenacts, transforms and deforms gestures exercised by Birzeit University students between 1988 and 1992 while trying to continue their education process at a time when schools and universities were closed by Israeli military rule and students and teachers who refused to abide were labeled “Cells of Illegal Education”. The illegal classes were organized in alternative spaces, such as houses, the university entrance and the university itself. The video revolves around two group pictures and a painting documenting these three situations. It attempts to recreate the students acts before, during and after the pictures were taken. Intertwining archival materials, oral testimonies and imagination this installation is a gestural reflection on the phenomenon of civil disobedience and popular resistance during the First Intifada and their echoes in our contemporary times, from romanticism to reenactment.



Concept and choreography: Farah Saleh

Dancers:Salma Ataya, Fayez Kawamleh,

Ibrahim Feno, Maali Khaled,

Hiba Harhash and Farah Saleh.

Video director: Mohanad Yaqubi

Cinematography: Sami Said

Production manager: Zina Zarour

Music: Muqata’a

Coloring: Karam Ali

Funded by

Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)

Supported by

Sareyyet Ramallah

and A.M Qattan Foundation




                                                     © Eyad Jadallah

Thanks to                                                    


Birzeit University, Salem Thawaba, Nicola Perugini, Ruba Saleh, Sawsan Shunnar, Saleh Ra’fat, Khaled Elayyan, Alaa’ Azzeh, Mayssoun Sukarieh, Khaled Hourani, Serene Huleileh, Yamila Hussein, Rawand Abed, Khadijeh Eweidat, Neve Gordon, Ariella Azoulay, Manal Issa, Emil Ashrawi, Faiha Abulhadi, Karmen Kishek, the Edward Said National Conservatory.


Granoff Center (Providence) March 2016, Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival (Ramallah) April 2016, Somerset House (London) December 2016, Alserkal Avenue (Dubai) January 2017, CCA (Glasgow) October 2017, HAU (Berlin) November 2017 and Fruitmarket Gallery (Edinburgh) February 2019.

Interview and full video

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