Oral history and the Everyday Life of Palestinian Refugees
The 2014 Eye on Palestine keynote lecture is dedicated to “The Nakba Archive”, an oral history collective established in Lebanon in 2002. Since it’s inception, the Archive has recorded over 650 video interviews with first generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon about their recollections of life in Palestine and the events that led to their displacement. These eyewitness narratives, with refugees from more than 150 Palestinian villages and towns, recall social and cultural life in Palestine before 1948, relations with neighboring Jewish communities and the British Mandate, the 1948 expulsion, and the early years of exile. The aim has been to document this critical period through the voices and experiences of those who lived through it, and to bear witness in a way shaped not by political symbolism but rather by the rhythms of personal memory.
Conceived as a grassroots, collaborative project, the Nakba Archive has been conducted by a collective of Palestinians from the camps; the goal has been not only to compensate for an incomplete written record, but also to involve refugees in documenting community histories in their own terms. The Archive is both a record of the memories of a passing generation of eyewitnesses and an act of witness to the legacy of 1948 and its continuing impact on the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon. A growing selection of interviews and subtitled excerpts can be viewed online.
The Nakba Archive was founded and co-directed by Diana Allan and Mahmoud Zeidan.
More information can be found at www.nakba-archive.org
Diana Allan is an anthropologist and filmmaker. She completed her doctorate in anthropology at Harvard University in 2007, and was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2008-2012. She was a fellow at Harvard’s Film Study Center in 2008, is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow in film and video. Her most recent book ‘Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile’ (Stanford University Press, 2013) explores the contingencies of nationalism and everyday survival in Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. She will be a fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell for the academic year of 2014. Diana Allan is the founder and co-director of the Nakba Archive, a testimonial project that has recorded over 650 interviews on film with first generation Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon. During the 2006 Lebanon/Israel war she established ‘Lens on Lebanon’, a participatory film and photographic initiative funded by the Soros Foundation, Oxfam and the Prince Claus Fund.
This event is organized by the Middle East and North Africa Research Group (UGENT) in collaboration with Social History since 1750 (UGENT), Center for Sociological Research, Theory, Culture and Religion (KULEUVEN), Department of Political Science (ULB), DOCNOMADS (LUCA), Visual Studies and Media Culture (UA) and with the support of Doctoral School (UGENT) and Vlaanderen in Actie
The Keynote lecture is free. Please note that seats are limited. Book in advance | firstname.lastname@example.org
It will be held in the Film Plateau (Gent) on April 1st at 16h