They Do Not Exist (Laysa lahum wujud) was directed by Mustafa Abu Ali in 1974, who took his title from the remark made by Golda Meir that the Palestinians do not exist. Abu Ali, one of the first Palestinian filmmakers and founder of the PLO’s film division, began making films in 1968 in Jordan, along with Sulafa Jadallah and Hani Jawhariya. After Black September, Abu Ali and the others had to leave Jordan but continued making resistance films in Lebanon.
Abu Ali was able to return to Palestine after the signing of the Oslo Accords, following 47 years of exile as a refugee. However, he is forbidden by Israeli law to live in, or even visit, his hometown of Maliha (in the Jerusalem district) and must live in Ramallah — only 15 kilometers away. Maliha was attacked in July of 1948 and partially demolished by the Zionist forces. All the inhabitants, including Abu Ali, were ethnically cleansed and became refugees never allowed to return to their homes. Today, most Israelis know the area only as the Malcha Shopping Mall or Kenion.
Abu Ali’s contribution to Palestinian cinema is significant, as well as his contribution to international cinema. He worked with Jean-Luc Godard, who always said his soul is Palestinian, on the acclaimed film Ici et Ailleurs. Godard is “a great filmmaker; dedicated, creative and imagnitatve. We were both concerned to find the right film language appropriate to the struggle for freedom,” says Abu Ali.
Still from “Ad de’lo Yoda” by Yael Bartana (One channel video installation, 3 min.)
‘Ad de’lo Yoda’ captures a traditional Jewish parade through a crack in a door. Positioning the viewer as an outsider to the celebrations, dancing and colorful costumes are glimpsed momentarily as participants move past the camera. Rather than attempting to explain the ritual’s significance, Bartana’s footage works with theunknowability of identity and heritage that is not our own.
Still from “Summer Camp / Awodah” by Yael Bartana (from 2007. Two channel video and sound installation, 12 min.)
‘Summer Camp’ shows the activities of ‘The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions’ (ICAHD); their actions consist amongst others of rebuilding Palestinian houses in the occupied territories. In the summer of 2006 Bartana filmed a group of ICAHD volunteers consisting of Palestinians, Israeli and various other nationalities, assisted by Palestinian construction workers, who were trying to rebuild in the village of Anata (east of Jerusalem) the former house of Abu Ahmed Al Hadad at exactly the same location where it was demolished by the Israeli authorities at the end of 2005. The result is a phenomenally edited 12 minutes image and sound composition in which Bartana uses the same stylistic devices as the Zionist propaganda films from the first half of the twentieth century. It refers directly to Helmar Lerski’s film ‘Awodah’ from 1934-’35, proclaiming the dream of a Zionist state, which is projected on a second screen.
And that’s partly why I believe Yael Bartana’s art has more potential for reaching out to people than that of provocative artists like Natali Cohen Vaxberg, who shits on the Israeli flag and stages provocative Holocaust monologues at Yad Vashem in her performances. Bartana’s works talks more to emotions and aesthetic moods than the unavoidable simplification of an harsh argument.
This is Susan Sontag’s documentary about Israel, shot during the Yom Kippur war. Much of it is strictly observational, though there are some effectively didactic juxtapositions — and several talking heads from across the Israeli political spectrum. Some might object that the Palestinians, whose fate is discussed in terms both cynical and sympathetic, don’t have their own voice in the film, but the limits of the films can also be said to give it a formal coherence. Those who know Sontag’s work in general will find her usual searching intelligence, compassion, and fearlessness here.
Meir Kahane (født 1. august 1932 i New York, død 5. november 1990) var en … bleBob Dylan anklaget for å være en støttespiller til Rabbi Meir Kahanes Jewish …
13. apr. 2011 – Bob Dylan said Meir Kahane, who favored the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland and whose racist Kach party has since …
24. mai 2011 – Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name Shabtai … Rabbi Meir Kahane and his radical, racist, and terroristic views–and his …
26. mai 2011 – In 1971 he had declared, in an interview in Time magazine, that the Neo-Nazi Zionist Rabbi Meir Kahane, was ‘”a really sincere guy. He’s really …
4. okt. 2011 – October 5: The Assassination of Meir Kahane … Rabbi Meir Kahane(Martin David Kahane), founder of the Jewish … —Bob Dylan, 1971.
There is a double portrait made by Yael Bartana of Polish left-wing publicist Slawomir Sierakowski, speaking. The subtitles in the image reveal he is speaking the words ‘Jews’ and ‘Return’.
This work corresponds to Bartana’s video work Mary Koszmary (2007).
What this depicts is a texture of connotations; holocaust, zionism, the modern state of Israel, the Warsaw ghetto, Palestine, annexation of land etc etc. I saw the pictures and thought of right wing extremism, I’m not sure why. That’s what my horizons and prejudices (in Gadamers sense) gave me. After diving more into it I understand the complicity of this artwork and the purpose of the artist to provoke confused reactions. Take a look at these Youtube comments to the clip I just shared:
“Mary Koszmary addresses contemporary anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Poland, Yes.Because otherwise Sierakowski,a left-extremist bigot who uses the specter of alleged antisemitism in Poland to fight against f.e conservatives, while at the time he is a pro-palestine/hamas supporter, would be,as a sociologist, out of work.pathetic. if Jews from Israel would like to come back,do so, we have plenty of room in Poland and less anti-sem. than f.e in Germany,France,GB- Welcome!”
” “This is a universal presentation of the impossibility of living together” – as Yael Bartana says in her video description. Her discourse is clearly made to serve her point: subversive, instigating, opening old wounds under the pretext of wanting to heal them. But she is a young artist… and she can do it … and this kind of “social / media experiments” are very promoted (read: financed ) nowadays. Sad.”