For Israelis, May 1948 marks the creation of the State of Israel. For Palestinians, it marks the Nakba (‘catastrophe’), when more than 700.000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes. Today – exactly 70 years later – those 700.000 have exceeded six million. '48 Stories' presents the personal stories of Palestinians who witnessed the events. On May 18, this digital storytelling project will be launched. Produced by photography collective NOOR, Palestinian and other photographers from the Middle East, producer Paradox and designers Kummer & Herrman, '48 Stories' sheds new light on the representation of the Palestinian diaspora.
With amongst others:
The project documents the memories and everyday lives of Palestinians, both 1948 survivors and their descendants. Many of them live in Gaza, the West Bank or Israel but the vast majority is spread around the world; they are based in (former) refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria or Jordan, have settled in countries like the US, Chile and the Netherlands. They have become shop owners, doctors, political activists or university professors. While they are scattered geographically, they share the hope of one day acquiring the right of return. However, being rooted in new homelands and without any sign of reconciliation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is unlikely that they will ever resettle. In the past two years, 6 photographers and filmmakers captured their experiences. 48 Stories shows a community whose members, although geographically and socioeconomically diverse, are all tied to the same country, landscape and history.
48 Stories presents the personal stories of Palestinians in an innovative web app, based on Slices, an Amsterdam start-up developing online storytelling solutions for journalists. During this launch event, we look into the visual representation of the Palestinian catastrophe with a group of international photographers, artists and scholars including Tanya Habjouqa (JO, based in PS), Kadir van Lohuizen (NL) and dr. Ihab Saloul (PS/NL). The evening is moderated by Bertan Selim (MK/NL).
- Tanya Habjouqa (Jordan, 1975) is a documentary photographer specializing ingender, social, and human rights issues in the Middle East. She approaches her subjects with sensitivity and an eye for the absurd. She is the author of Occupied Pleasures, heralded by TIME magazine and the Smithsonian as one of the best photo books of 2015 (winning a World Press Photo award in 2014). She was the recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2013 Emergency Fund, and mentors grantees from across the Arab region for their “Arab Photographer Documentary Fund” with the Prince Claus Foundation and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. Tanya is a founding member of Rawiya, the first all female photo collective of the Middle East. She lectures ‘Narrative/ National Identity in Photography’ at Al Quds Bard University.
Kadir van Lohuizen (The Netherlands, 1963) has covered conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, but is probably best known for his long-term projects on the seven rivers of the world, the rising of sea levels, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas. Kadir has received numerous prizes and awards in photojournalism. In 2000 and 2002 Kadir was a jury member of the World Press Photo contest and is currently on the supervisory board of the World Press Photo foundation. Kadir is a frequent lecturer and photography teacher and is based in Amsterdam.
- Dr. Ihab Saloul is Associate Professor of Heritage and Memory Studies, Founding Director and Research Vice-Director of The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). He is a Research Domain Leader at the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI). Saloul is also a founding editor of two book series: ‘Heritage and Memory Studies’ (Amsterdam University Press), and ‘Palgrave Studies of Cultural Heritage and Conflict’ (Palgrave Macmillan).
Debby Farber (Israel, b. 1977) is a PhD candidate at Ben Gurion University and works as a curator for Zochrot, an Israeli NGO. Founded in 2002, Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew) aims to raise awareness, acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba. Zochrot’s Visual Research Lab is a dynamic platform for reflection, study, development, and production of concepts for the creation of a new visual language that counters the erasure of Palestinianness from the Israeli mental and physical space.
Ezz al Zanoon (Gaza, b. 1992) is an independent photo journalist and filmmaker whose work regularly appears on the Middle East Eye, The Electronic Intifada, and Al Jazeera English, among others. His work is mostly concerned with topics such as human rights and social justice. Last year his work was included in the exhibition HOME at Framer Framed.
This event is organised by NOOR and Paradox, in collaboration with the University of Amsterdam and supported by the Prince Claus Fund.
48 Stories is produced by NOOR and Paradox, in collaboration with Kummer & Herrman and Slices, and made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund, Prince Claus Fund, Creative Industries Fund NL, Leonhard-Woltjer Stichting, Lutfia Rabbani Foundation and NOOR Foundation.