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Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
[Queen's U] Dorit Naaman on $223,000 federal government grant to project Qatamon in Colour


13th January 2012

Israeli-Palestinian project involves locals

Queens and Simon Fraser University team receives $223,000 federal government grant


Queen's professor of film and media Dorit Naaman holds up two maps of Qatamon, one hand drawn by Hala Sakakini.
Queen's professor of film and media Dorit Naaman holds up two maps of Qatamon, one hand drawn by Hala Sakakini. (Corey Lablans)

An ongoing multimedia project hopes to bring to life the diverse histories of homes in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Qatamon.

A team comprised of professors and students from Queens and Simon Fraser University (SFU) will work closely with families displaced by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Dorit Naaman, a professor of film and media at Queens, said the project has many steps, including an interactive website, digital media workshops for youth and a video installation.

The video project Qatamon in Colour will encourage Qatamon families to recall their memories and experiences. These video installations will then be projected onto the houses.

Im very interested in letting people tell their stories about their homes, but in a way letting the houses speak their history, she said. The idea of this installation is kind of letting the houses focalize these different histories.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition British Palestine into the two states of Israeli and Palestine, which was accepted by the former but not by the latter.

When Britain left in May of 1948, a war erupted and by April, Israel had begun taking over Qatamon.

Families involved in the project will include not only those displaced by the conflict in 1948, but also current residents and individuals who have lived in the neighborhood since, including Israelis.

Naaman said the installation will likely be completed by 2014 and will include guided and self-guided tours. Work is set to begin this summer.

Teaching local youth about digital film technology is important, Naaman said.

Its become such a critical source of information and analysis in our time that we need to be very savvy in working on both sides of the camera, she said.

Becoming more technologically skilled will also help youth understand their familys histories.

Its very specifically designed as a multi-generational project, she said. To allow youth the connection to these other experiences I think will strengthen their identity.

Sobhi al Zobaidi, a postdoctoral student fromSFU, is a Palestinian filmmaker who will be conducting the filming of families in Jerusalem.

Depending on skill level and relevance in area of study, a variety of other Queens students, from undergraduates to PhD students, will take part. Currently, there are no degree requirements and no concrete amount of students who can partake.

Approximately $223,000 of funding has been provided through a federal government Research/Creation grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Dana Olwan, assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, is a co-applicant in the organization of the project with Naaman.

The process of finding the Qatamon families, Olwan told theJournalvia email, is complicated and involves intricate local and global networking.

We are relying on already established contacts but will likely require a use of variety of tools to locate people, including archival research, email, and word of mouth, Olwan said.

While locating the families is one step, there are other barriers to consider, she said.

Identifying and locating the Palestinian families does not necessarily mean that they will want to take part in this project, she said. The Israeli occupation has had long and lasting damaging effects on our communities and some people may prefer to not participate.

Its important to understand that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hasnt ended yet, Olwan said.

Palestinians are being dispossessed from Jerusalem right now through the building of apartheid walls, the expanding of settlements, and the confiscation of Jerusalem identification cards, Olwan said. Understanding and challenging the contemporary nature of the occupation is a key aim of this project.



Civil Awakening: Ariella Azoulay in conversation with Dorit Naaman

Corridor Culture presents:

Civil Awakening

Ariella Azoulay
In conversation with Dorit Naaman

Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 7pm
Wilson Room
Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Public Library
130 Johnson Street
Kingston, Ontario

Using recent documentary photography as a sounding board Israeli scholar,curator and filmmaker,Ariella Azoulay discusses new civil languages emergingfrom the Social Justice Movement in Israel,uprisings in Egypt and Occupy WallStreet.

Ariella Azoulay is Director of the Photo-Lexic International Research Groupat the Minerva Center atTel Aviv University and Leverhulme Research Professor, Durham University. She is the author of eight books and curator of numerous exhibitions concerning the power of the image in the definition of citizenship. Best known forThe Civil Contract of Photography(MIT/Zone Books), Dr. Azoulays work has focussed on the power relations that sustain and make possible photographic meanings.You can findmore about Ariella Azoulay here:http://cargocollective.com/ariellaAzoulay

Dorit Naaman is a filmmaker andfilm theorist and Alliance Atlantis Professor ofFilm and Media at QueensUniversity.

The Corridor Culture collective builds social connectivity in Kingston and the broadercultural sectorby aiding cultural producers travel along Ontariosrail corridors and by bridging visiting artists andscholars with diverseaudiences here and along the corridor. In the Fall of 2011 we organized adiscussion with Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, a curator from the HavanaBiennial; we will present aperformance by two established Canadian Aboriginalartists, Terrance Houle and Adrian Stimson inMarch of 2012.

Other events with Ariella Azoulay

Chancellor Dunning Trust Lecture:
Toward a Visual Declaration of Human Rights Re-visiting the Family of Man

Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Location: Dunning Hall, Queens University, 7pm.

Visiting scholar Ariella Azoulay will be presenting this years Dunning Trust Lecture, reflecting upon photography, human rights, and citizenship, based on the landmark 1955 exhibition The Family of Man (curator E. Steichen, 1955). Visited by millions of spectators the world over, the exhibition was an object of critique that has become paradigmatic in the fields of visual culture and critical theory.

Organized by the Queens University Cultural Studies Program

Cultural Studies Speaks: POTENTIAL HISTORY

Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Location: Dunning room 12, Queens University, 11:30-1:30pm

Potential History is a workshop, led by Dr. Azoulay on visual citizenship. Inher own words The past cannot be changed perhaps, except in this sense:it can be shown to be incomplete, the closures it seemingly imposes can bereopened, dormant potentialities can surface again and transform the presenthorizon of the political imagination, for the sake of molding a still indeterminatefuture. In the seminar I will argue that photography and citizenship are importanttools in potentializing violent realities and go beyond their logic.

image credit: Ariella Azoulay



Red Lounge and Zochrot Art Gallery

Evening on occassion of the current exhibition:

"Palestinian Houses in West Jerusalem"

Sunday, 19th of April 2009, at 7:30 pm (19:30)

Screening, Lecture and Discussion withDorit Naaman

"Two Houses and a Longing"

A short documentary by Dorit Naaman | Jerusalem & Canada, 2008

This video tells the story of two Palestinian homes whose owners fled/were expelled during the 1948 war and the houses now serve as a museum and a daycare centre.
The film tackles the question of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, the workings of public and private memory and erasure, and the unearthing of these two houses' story by the Israeli videomaker.

Recipient of the Ir-Amim "Jerusalem Moments" production grant, and group screening at the Jerusalem Film Festival, July 2008.
Also screened at the Boston Palestine Film Festival, and in Kingston and Ottawa.

Dorit Naamanis a film theorist and documentarist from Jerusalem. She researches Israeli cinema and teaches at Queens university in Ontario, Canada.

The evening was organized in cooperation with Zochrot on occassion of the current exhibition "Palestinian Houses in West-Jerusalem":


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