Cultural Program Explores Palestinian Displacement

On November 14, 2013, the Birzeit University Museum, in cooperation with Al Phoenix Center in Dheisheh Camp, held a cultural program entitled “Gestures of Return” to examine questions around Palestinian displacement.
The event included visual representation and archives, followed by an open discussion highlighting several grassroots initiatives that practice return.
The presentation reviewed historical images from Myrtle Winter-Chaumeny, photographer and founder of the UNRWA media unit, as well as rare family archives, Israeli military state archives, and photographic archives from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Quakers, and collections of Palestinian Issam Nassar and French contributor Stephanie Latte.
The community discussion involved various initiatives resisting displacement across the Palestinian landscape using organized artistic, social and political interventions.
“Youth against Settlements,” represented by Issa Amro, organizes non-violent popular resistance and civil disobedience strategies in the old city of Hebron.
Yamen Zidan presented “Return to the Self – the Durzi experience,” a film narrating the historical, cultural and political dislocation of the Durzi community from Palestinian discourse.
“Campus in Camps” participants highlighted their engagement in collective dialogue and collaboration with their community, staging new initiatives that reclaim, activate or suggest new uses for common and public spaces in refugee camps.
The day was concluded with a musical performance by rapper Wala Sbeit from Iqrit, a displaced Palestinian village in Gallilee.
This event is an initiative of the EUNIC Cluster in Palestine in collaboration with Campus in Camps and Birzeit University Museum, curated by Shuruq Harb.