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Gil Hochberg ─ Becoming Palestine: Toward an Archival Imagination of the Future

Becoming Palestine poster, gray and white with light yellow writing

Thursday, February 10, 2022

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Register here to join the webinar or watch live on Watson's YouTube channel

About the Book: 

In Becoming Palestine, Gil Z. Hochberg examines how contemporary Palestinian artists, filmmakers, dancers, and activists use the archive in order to radically imagine Palestine’s future.

She shows how artists such as Jumana Manna, Kamal Aljafari, Larissa Sansour, Farah Saleh, Basel Abbas, and Ruanne Abou-Rahme reimagine the archive, approaching it not through the desire to unearth hidden knowledge, but to sever the identification of the archive with the past. In their use of archaeology, musical traditions, and archival film and cinematic footage, these artists imagine a Palestinian future unbounded from colonial space and time. By urging readers to think about archives as a break from history rather than as history’s repository, Hochberg presents a fundamental reconceptualization of the archive’s liberatory potential.

“Appearing at a time when interest in Palestinian imaginative culture is higher than it has ever been, Becoming Palestine is a highly original and illuminating study of recent Palestinian creative works unlike any that has been published thus far. It will attract scholars of Israel and Palestine, Palestinian culture, modern Arab and Middle Eastern art and cinema, and I expect it to be widely read by curators and practitioners throughout the world who work on art that engages with archives and politics.”— Nadia Yaqub, author of Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution. 

Center for Middle East Studies

About the Author: 

Gil Z. Hochberg is the Ransford Professor of Hebrew and Visual Studies, Comparative Literature, and Middle East Studies at Columbia University and author of Visual Occupations: Violence and Visibility in a Conflict Zone, also published by Duke University Press, and In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination.