Jaffa’s Crumbs (2014)
The Anatomy Museum, London King’s College
While I collected the crumbs in my hand, my English partner mentioned that few people in this country would know the origin of the word. I couldn’t believe it. A 5000-year-old city, featured in one of the most well known Bible stories, the mother of all strangers, and the Bride of Palestine, and here it is just a kind of orange?
The exhibition “Jaffa’s Crumbs” commemorates the Palestinian Nakba. In particular, it deals with the left over spaces and memories of the Jaffa-city that used to be the cultural and commercial centre of Palestine. The city has been scarred as a result of the 1948 war, Israel’s ban on the return of almost 100,000 of the city’s population, and the confiscation of these people’s properties. It was downgraded from a capital of a district of of Tel Aviv. Some of the works also deal with the gentrification and racial politics that are now threatening to squeeze out the poorer remaining Arab population.
A short interview about the exhibition by Propeller TV can be can be viewed here: TV Interview
Works in the exhibition:
Sand Pits (or 8/678) (2014): An installation depicts the eradication of the eight Palestinian villages of Jaffa district that existed where Tel Aviv City is today. It includes eight 10x100cm wood poles, into which a diorama cube is inserted. The polls are inspired by marking posts for trails of significant sites. However, whilst there the posts are grounded, here they are uprooted and suspended in the air. The dioramas portray a person standing on a broken painted floor tile, such as the ones that were common in Jaffa in the beginning of the 20th century, looking at a white mark, painted in tipex. The white marks resembles the layout of the Palestinian villages. The tiles are partially buried in sand dunes and to be able to expose the white mark one need to tip the pole.
X/1151948 (2014): Series of 10cmx10cm dioramas that depict the Palestinian Nakba from the 1948 war and exile to the continuing sale of their property, which was confiscated by the state, to private buyers. The work can also be read as portraying the two fold axis of Palestinians in Israel and in the occupied territories: by real estate and by state / military / legal force.
The Path of Orange Peels (2012), created in collaboration with “Hahla Binat”, a Palestinian women’s group at the Jaffa Arab Jewish Community Centre. The work is composed of images printed on orange peels and encapsulated in resin.
‘Jaffa’s Story (and Chubeza)’ (2010) a short film musing about the untold story of Jaffa.
‘Rosetta’ (2013) a documentary art film depicting a walking performance by Maram Atouleh, a young Palestinian teenager, with a soundtrack that includes Mahmoud Darwish’s reading of his poem The Murdered House. The film, commissioned by the Zochrot was screened at the 48mm – the International Nakba Film Festival, Tel Aviv.