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The Aesthetics of Exile

Article – Published @ Reorient Magazine

 

Ismail-Shammout2

 

 

‘PALESTINIAN ARTISTS HAVE REFUSED TO SURRENDER THEIR AESTHETIC SENSIBILITIES’

… The instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice – politics.

– Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

In exploring the connection between Palestinian art and its politics, one wonders whether it is possible to ‘escape’ the language of politics. In doing so, it is important to look at the historical and cultural transformations endured by the Palestinians to date, particularly the state of exile created as a result of the Nakba (lit. ‘catastrophe’) in 1948. Every year, Palestinians commemorate the expulsion and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians – more than 60% of the Palestinian population, to be more precise – from over 530 villages that were depopulated and destroyed completely. To date, the Israeli government has prevented the return of approximately six million Palestinian refugees, who have either been expelled or displaced. Looking back at the Nakba, one is compelled to conclude that perhaps not a small part of the suffering of the Palestinian people is directly related to that event.”  … Read more at Reorient Magazine

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Capturing Truth: Israeli occupation and images of the oppressed

Article – Published @ Middle East Monitor

Abdellatif R. Abdeljawad |  August 13, 2014

art-temp-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stories of the photos are perhaps specific to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories but they have a wider connotation, they provide an invaluable resource that describes not just the nature of Israel’s occupation but of how occupying soldiers behave more generally…

“What does it mean to be under occupation, how does it feel? What is the relationship between a photo and reality? What do we see, what do we learn when we look at photographs of people under occupation? Are we just spectators and out for some visual entertainment? Or are we members of a world community concerned for the fate of our world? A split second is all it takes to create a photograph that makes the world rethink the way it looks at itself.” … Read more at Middle East Monitor

 

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