Our Photographed Tragedy
Workshop by Nayrouz Abu Hatoum
The 2003 Israeli construction of the Wall in Palestine transformed the landscape for Palestinians dramatically. The Wall not only affected Palestinians’ movement and dwelling practices, it also intensified the feeling of helplessness as lands were confiscated and the landscape incarcerated. Today, the Wall is one of the most photographed military structures in Palestine, becoming, as I argue, a suspended model of and a challenging model for the visual regime that dictates relations of domination in this colonial context.
Through tracing Palestinian photographic encounter and visual work on the Wall, I claim that photography of the Wall is a product of visual positionings that create the possibilities for a critical reading of colonial visual relations. Through the notion of ‘visual positionality’, I address the differential situated knowledge that is entangled in the production of images, which complicates actions of resistance against the visual market of militarized landscapes. I will be addressing the following questions: What are the differential relations to visuality in the context of Palestine and the Israeli state? How are visuals sites of political struggle? And, can we speak of visual decolonization?
Nayrouz Abu Hatoum is an anthropologist and a visiting fellow in the Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University. Her doctoral research explored both Palestinian and Israeli relationships to the bordered and violent landscapes in Palestine. Her current research examines urban dwelling practices among Palestinians in Jerusalem. Her work has been published in Queering Urban Justice: Queer of Colour Formations in Toronto (2018), Visual Anthropology Review Journal (2017), and Min Fami: Arab Feminist Reflections on Identity, Space and Resistance (2014).
Location: REC C3.04
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