13th January 2012
Israeli-Palestinian project involves locals
Queenĺs and Simon Fraser University team receives $223,000 federal government grant
BY MEAGHAN WRAY, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
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 Queenĺs 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 Queenĺs, said the project has many steps, including an interactive website, digital media workshops for youth and a video installation.
The video project ôQatamon in Colourö will encourage Qatamon families to recall their memories and experiences. These video installations will then be projected onto the houses.
ôIĺm very interested in letting people tell their stories about their homes, but in a way letting the houses speak their history,ö she said. ôThe idea of this installation is kind of letting the houses ů focalize these different histories.ö
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.
ôItĺs 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,ö she said.
Becoming more technologically skilled will also help youth understand their familyĺs histories.
ôItĺs very specifically designed as a multi-generational project,ö she said. ôTo allow youth the connection to these other experiences I think will strengthen their identity.ö
Sobhi al Zobaidi, a postdoctoral student fromáSFU, 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 Queenĺs 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 theáJournalávia email, is complicated and involves intricate local and global networking.
ôWe 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,ö Olwan said.
While locating the families is one step, there are other barriers to consider, she said.
ôIdentifying and locating the Palestinian families does not necessarily mean that they will want to take part in this project,ö she said. ôThe Israeli occupation has had long and lasting damaging effects on our communities and some people may prefer to not participate.ö
Itĺs important to understand that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hasnĺt ended yet, Olwan said.
ôPalestinians are being dispossessed from Jerusalem right now through the building of apartheid walls, the expanding of settlements, and the confiscation of Jerusalem identification cards,ö Olwan said. ôUnderstanding and challenging the contemporary nature of the occupation is a key aim of this project.ö
Civil Awakening: Ariella Azoulay in conversation with Dorit Naaman
Corridor Culture presents:
In conversation with Dorit Naaman
Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 7pm
Central Branch, Kingston Frontenac Public Library
130 Johnson Street
Using recent documentary photography as a sounding board Israeli scholar,ácurator and filmmaker,áAriella Azoulay discusses new civil languages emergingáfrom the Social Justice Movement in Israel,áuprisings in Egypt and Occupy WalláStreet.
Ariella Azoulay is Director of the Photo-Lexic International Research Groupáat the Minerva Center atáTel 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 foráThe Civil Contract of Photographyá(MIT/Zone Books), Dr. Azoulayĺs work has focussed on the power relations that sustain and make possible photographic meanings.áYou can findámore about Ariella Azoulay here:áhttp://cargocollective.com/ariellaAzoulay
Dorit Naaman is a filmmaker andáfilm theorist and Alliance Atlantis Professor ofáFilm and Media at QueenĺsáUniversity.
The Corridor Culture collective builds social connectivity in Kingston and the broaderácultural sectoráby aiding cultural producersĺ travel along Ontarioĺsárail corridors and by bridging visiting artists andáscholars with diverseáaudiences here and along the corridor. In the Fall of 2011 we organized aádiscussion with Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, a curator from the HavanaáBiennial; we will present aáperformance by two established Canadian Aboriginaláartists, Terrance Houle and Adrian Stimson ináMarch of 2012.
Other events with Ariella Azoulay
Chancellor Dunning Trust Lecture:
Toward a Visual Declaration of Human Rights ľ Re-visiting the Family of Man
Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Location: Dunning Hall, Queenĺs University, 7pm.
Visiting scholar Ariella Azoulay will be presenting this yearĺs 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 Queenĺs University Cultural Studies Program
Cultural Studies Speaks: POTENTIAL HISTORY
Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Location: Dunning room 12, Queenĺs University, 11:30-1:30pm
ôPotential Historyö is a workshop, led by Dr. Azoulay on visual citizenship. Ináher own words ôThe past cannot be changed perhaps, except in this sense:áit can be shown to be incomplete, the closures it seemingly imposes can beáreopened, dormant potentialities can surface again and transform the presentáhorizon of the political imagination, for the sake of molding a still indeterminateáfuture. In the seminar I will argue that photography and citizenship are importantátools in potentializing violent realities and go beyond their logic.ö
áimage 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 witháDorit 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 Naamanáis a film theorist and documentarist from Jerusalem. She researches Israeli cinema and teaches at Queenĺs 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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