Time and Remains – of Palestine
Part I That still remains
Time and Remains explores two parts of the history of Palestine, since the founding of Israel.
Part I probes the now historic Palestinian presence in much of Israel and reflects on the sense of ‘Nakba’ (Catastrophe); documenting the remains of some of the 400 or so villages that were depopulated and then largely demolished as a consequence of the 1948 war, and later conflicts. Each picture records the location of a former Palestinian village or town; accompanying captions present brief village histories, recording the occasion and consequence of conquest. The name and district given is that current during the period of the British mandate, which was much the same as during the Ottoman period. Though the landscape is now renamed and reinterpreted these now historical places remain pertinent in the consciousness of their diaspora.
Part II moves forward in time to explore the contemporary landscape of the labyrinthine West Bank, a would be ‘Palestine’ as conceived by the Oslo peace accords that has failed to materialise in any meaningful form; documenting the fabric of conflict in a land zoned into multiple and convoluted ‘areas’, divided by walls and fences, halted by checkpoints and road blocks, reduced by settlements.
Research for the captions in part I was drawn primarily from the writings of Israeli ‘new’ historians who methodically analysed military and state archives, and soldier testimonies. In part II the title and captions reflect the convoluted settlement that evolved from the Oslo Peace Accords, zoning the land into alphabetical ‘areas’, intended as a step towards nationhood that has proved faltering and inconclusive.
Time and Remains – of Palestine is published by Kehrer Verlag (March 2016) with an introduction by Raja Shehadeh (192 pages, 30 x 24cm, 95 colour plates).