Palestine NEWTON Bouquet 2: “Palestine Culture, Artistic Production, and Solidarities” (May 18)

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the date on which Palestinians became officially stateless. On 15 May, 1948, Israel declared itself a state, built on the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the erasure of Palestinian lives, homes, and villages, and the denial of narratives. This week, Jadaliyya offers two NEWTON bouquets to mark the Nakba, curated from our scores of interviews over the years. This second NEWTON Bouquet showcases a selection of texts that highlight the social histories, solidarities, and artistic and cultural output continued by Palestinians in the ongoing Nakba. You can see NEWTON Bouquet 1 here.

1) Khaled Furani, Silencing the Sea: Secular Rhythms in Palestinian Poetry

“… through this book I seek to depart from Enlightenment assumptions about drawing lines between the aesthetic and the political, the rhetorical, and the ethical, so that a different, non-fragmented re-entry could open up to ethnographic and other inquiries, whether in the Arab world or beyond.”

2) Raja-e Busailah, In the Land of My Birth: A Palestinian Boyhood

“A great deal of my Palestine experience is in poems I have written. They deal with much that is in the book—personal and general, events and anecdotes, people, situations, and other things.”

3) Nadia Yaqub, Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution

“Contemporary Palestinian activism has been shaped by neoliberalism and its effects on concepts of selfhood and one’s relationship to community. All of this is reflected in one way or another in the films Palestinians are making today, and in particular in the various ways in which they engage with the Palestinian revolution, with nostalgia, anger, and resignation.”

4) Ella Shohat, On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings

“A key concern revolves around two questions: “the question of Palestine,” which has been debated passionately for over a century; and “the question of the Arab-Jew,” which has only more recently come into the glare of the journalistic, artistic, and academic spotlight.”

5) Esther Farmer, Rosalind Petchesky, and Sarah Sills, A Land With A People: Palestinians and Jews Confront Zionism 

“We especially want the book to contribute to the decolonization of people’s minds and hearts about Zionism as an ideology and a political practice, as well as its historical roots and its impact on the lives of Palestinians in Israel/Palestine and the diaspora as well as on diasporic and Israeli Jews. The stories, poetry, images, and history in this book aim to elevate voices that have not been heard anywhere else.”

6) Michelle Hartman, Breaking Broken English: Black Arab Solidarities and the Politics of Language

“Black-Arab solidarity is talked about a little, language use in English-language Arab literature is talked about a little, politics and language are talked about a little. Palestine is talked about, but rarely in relation to culture and language. I wrote this book to tie all of these topics together and to try to link politics, literature, language, and culture.”

7) Sato Moughalian, Feast of Ashes: The Life and Art of David Ohannessian

“Although Ohannessian’s story had been told, cursorily, in various art histories, those texts generally contained significant errors about him and portrayed him as a voiceless, powerless artisan, a “humble craftsman,” dependent on the benevolence of British Mandate patrons. This was a grossly incomplete depiction.”

8) Gabriel Varghese, Palestinian Theatre in the West Bank: Our Human Faces

“I have attempted to continue Nassar’s groundbreaking excavation of the history of Palestinian theater from its earliest days in the second half of the nineteenth century to the period of the first intifada, by bringing it up to the present day. That is over a century of theatrical production, original works, translations, and adaptations in both classical Arabic and the Palestinian dialect.”