Dr Anna Bernard, ‘Resources for International Solidarity’, University of York, 25 February

Our very own co-investigator Dr Anna Bernard will be speaking at the University of York on Wednesday 25th February, on the topic of ‘Resources for International Solidarity: Palestine and South Africa on Camera’.

Anna is now based at King’s College London, but was previously a member of York’s Department of English and Related Literature, and we’re very pleased to welcome her back.

The talk is being hosted by York’s ‘Resistant Resources’ research strand, which developed from the Postcolonial Studies Association Postgraduate Conference held at York in July 2014.

Anna’s talk takes place in the Bowland Auditorium at 6pm. Attendance is free and all are welcome.

Her abstract is below:

Resources for International Solidarity: Palestine and South Africa on Camera

This paper compares the consciousness-raising strategies of anti-apartheid and Palestine solidarity documentaries released in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, including Some of the Palestinians (1976), You Have Struck a Rock! (1981), Occupied Palestine (1981), Who Are the Palestinians? (1983), and Witness to Apartheid (1986). These films emerge at a crucial juncture in the general shift, from the 1970s onward, from third-worldist and liberationist ideas of solidarity to civil society and humanitarian approaches. I argue that these films respond to the organizational needs of their particular moment by negotiating between these conflicting notions of what it means to be in solidarity, a strategy that remains in evidence in contemporary forms of international solidarity activism. They thus have important resonances with, and lessons for, cultural activism in our present moment.

If you’re unable to travel to York, Anna will be speaking on related themes at the University of Edinburgh Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies on Monday 2nd March, as part of their Lectures on Palestine 2015. The abstract for that talk can be found here.

Thanks to our network member Sarah Irving, who is part of a team curating the lectures, for this info.

The return of Jerusalem to Muslim rule: the Holy City in the time of Saladin and his family (1187-1250), Edinburgh, 23 March

Hannah Boast:

A seminar in the Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies at the University of Edinburgh which may be of interest to our readers.
It takes place on Monday 23 March 2015, 5.30pm, at 19 George Square, Room G2.
Venue location: http://www.ed.ac.uk/maps?building=16-27-george-square

Originally posted on 2015 IMES Lectures on Palestine:

Professor Carole Hillenbrand, Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh

The return of Jerusalem to Muslim rule: the Holy City in the time of Saladin and his family (1187-1250)

This presentation unfolds the melancholy tale which traces the fate of Jerusalem from the glory days of Saladin to its sack by the Central Asian Khwarizmians some fifty years later and its conquest and restoration by the Mamluks in 1250. In particular, it contrasts the magnificent obsession of Saladin with Jerusalem as a symbol of Muslim devotion and successful jihad with the cynical opportunism of his descendants, for whom Jerusalem was sometimes a mere pawn in a power struggle engulfing the entire Middle East. This sorry tale of climax and anti-climax involves some of the key players in the politics of the time, including Saladin himself, Frederick II of Sicily and the Ayyubid sultan al-Kamil.

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Conference Announcement: The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem, 20-21 March, York

vtj Conference Poster-page-001A conference announcement from colleagues at York:

Registration is now open for the ERC-funded ‘The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem’ conference, to be held in York from 20th-21st March 2015.

Further details can be found on the project homepage.

Registration takes place via York’s Online Store, following the History of Art tab.

The poster can be downloaded here, and the programme is available here. These, along with details of keynote lectures, can also be downloaded from the conference website.

Palestinian culture and everyday life in East Jerusalem

EducationalBookshop-4

Educational Bookshop, East Jerusalem. BROWNBOOK. Photographers: Hamde Abu Rahma & Felipe Romero.

BROWNBOOK magazine features a thoughtful and evocative piece from Natasha Stallard on Palestinian cultural life in East Jerusalem.

The richly illustrated article is a welcome change from much of the writing we see on Palestinian life in the city, departing from the dominant framework of violence and occupation, and thinking about resistance in a different way.

Stallard tours a number of Palestinian cultural landmarks, including the Al Ma’mal Foundation and Yabous cultural centres, the ‘Palestinian Pottery’ studio and shop, and the famous Educational Bookshop (a true pilgrimage site for visiting researchers).

You can read the article here.

Dana Hercbergs on the ‘Davidization of Jerusalem’

Tower of David, Jerusalem. Shared from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons Licence.

Dana Hercbergs, who spoke at our November 2014 conference Remembering Jerusalem, has written a piece based on her paper for +972 Magazine.

The article discusses the recent proliferation of images of the Tower of David as a symbol of Jerusalem.

The Tower, Dana writes, has appeared on everything from phone books to votive candles, to real estate adverts. It has reached such a level of popularity that it now seems to be replacing landmarks such as the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall.

But why is this the case? Dana’s piece puts forward a number of possibilities, ranging from the increased visibility of settlers in the occupied City of David, to the potential of the Tower to replace the Dome of the Rock/Western Wall image with one which is on the surface (but barely, in reality) less politically charged.

You can read Dana’s article here.

BBC drama ‘The Honourable Woman’ screens on Israeli TV

I blogged about Hugo Blick’s BBC drama The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, here, when it screened in the UK last year.

Personally, I enjoyed the series for its pace, style, and complex female characters, even if I found it ultimately unenlightening on questions of Middle East politics, and was less than impressed by its uniformly negative representations of Palestinians.

That review is here.

Since then, the series has been widely exported around the world (perhaps notably, the press release doesn’t list sales to any Arab countries) and is about to be shown on Israeli television.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has published a pre-review of the series, and it’s interesting to read a perspective on Blick’s drama ‘from the eye of the storm’, as the reviewer, Michael Handelzalts, puts it.

The review includes a fascinating biographical tidbit about the Israeli actor Yigal Naor, who plays the shrewd but kindly character Shlomo. Apparently, Naor previously played Saddam Hussein in a BBC drama called House of Saddam (which I’ve not seen).

The casting of an Israeli actor as Iraq’s former dictator seems telling about the attitudes of BBC producers, and western audiences, towards the Middle East. While I wouldn’t deny that an actor can play outside their nationality – the ability to inhabit different roles is, after all, the basis of acting – this casting suggests that Middle Eastern ‘appearances’, accents, and cultures are viewed in the west as essentially interchangeable.

You can read Haaretz‘s take on The Honourable Woman here.

New Issue and CFP: Jerusalem Art History Journal: An Undergraduate eJournal

journalJerusalem Art History Journal is a new undergraduate eJournal, edited by Imagining Jerusalem network member Loren Lerner. The inaugural issue can be downloaded here.

The issue features a selection of essays produced by students of Loren’s course ‘City of Jerusalem: Ideas and Images’, which she teaches in the Department of Art History at Concordia University in Montreal.

From the issue Introduction:

‘[City of Jerusalem: Ideas and Images] considers different attachments to Jerusalem through visual perceptions and artistic representations at the religious, social, and political levels. Its focus is on the multifaceted narratives, allegiances, and ideas of the city’s history covering ancient times, the Roman and Byzantine periods, the Arab, Crusader, and Mamluk periods, and the years under Ottoman, British Mandate, Jordan/Israeli, and Israeli rule. Of central importance is the visual imagery of the real and imagined Jerusalem in the art and architecture created by different communities over thousands of years.’

The essays explore the art, architecture, archaeological sites, and urban spaces of Jerusalem from a range of eras. Others discuss works of art created by the students themselves, in which they produced their own visual response to the city.

Loren hopes that the journal will become a student-run, peer-reviewed publication, open to all universities. Contributions to the next issue (in English or French) are currently invited, and should be sent to loren.lerner[at]sympatico.ca by 1 April 2015. The Call for Papers can be downloaded here.