26th Mar 2015 6:30pm-8:00pm
G7, Pavilion Parade
Philosophy, Politics, Aesthetics Seminar Programme
Anna Bernard (Kings College, University of London)
This paper discusses documentary films about Palestine and the Palestinians from the 1970s and '80s, including Some of the Palestinians (dir. Mamoun Hassan, UNRWA, 1976), Occupied Palestine (dir. David Koff, 1981), and Who Are the Palestinians? (BBC, 1983). These films are fairly early examples of Palestine solidarity activism aimed at an English-speaking audience, and they emerge at a crucial juncture in the general shift, from the 1970s onward, from third-worldist and liberationist ideas of solidarity to civil society and humanitarian approaches. I argue that these films respond to the organizational needs of their particular moment by drawing on both notions of what it means to be in solidarity, a strategy that remains in evidence in contemporary forms of Palestine solidarity activism. They thus have important resonances with, and lessons for, cultural activism in our present moment.
Anna Bernard is Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at King’s College London. She is the author of Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool UP, 2013), and the co-editor of Debating Orientalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say (Routledge, forthcoming 2015). She is currently working on a book about international solidarity movements and culture.Dr. She is particularly interested in the intersection of postcolonial studies and Middle Eastern literary and cultural studies, notably the literature and culture of Israel/Palestine, the international circulation of Arabic and Hebrew literature in translation, and transnational cultural advocacy and activism. Anna is also the co-investigator of the AHRC international research network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, 1099-present’ (2013-15). Her first book, Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool University Press, 2013), examines the diverse ways in which Palestinian and Israeli writers have responded the expectation that their work will “narrate” the nation, invigorating critical debates about the political and artistic value of national narration as a literary practice.