For Israelis, May 15, 1948 marks the creation of the State of Israel. For Palestinians, it marks the Nakba (‘catastrophe’), when more than 700.000 Palestinians were forced out of their homes. Today – exactly 70 years later – those 700.000 have exceeded six million. 48 Stories presents the personal stories of Palestinians who witnessed the events.

On May 18, this digital storytelling project will be launched. 48 Stories is produced by photography collective NOOR, Palestinian and other photographers from the Middle East, designers Kummer & Herrman and Paradox. 48 Stories sheds new light on the representation of the Palestinian diaspora. The project documents the memories and everyday lives of Palestinians, both 1948 survivors and their descendants. In the past two years, 6 photographers and filmmakers captured their experiences. 48 Stories shows a community whose members, although geographically and socioeconomically diverse, are all tied to the same country, landscape and history.

48 Stories presents the personal stories of Palestinians in an innovative web app, based on Slices, an Amsterdam start-up developing online storytelling solutions for journalists.

During this launch event, we look into the visual representation of the Nakba with a group of international photographers, artists and scholars including Ezz al Zanoon (PS), Debby Farber (IL), Tanya Habjouqa (JO, based in PS), Kadir van Lohuizen (NL) and dr. Ihab Saloul (PS/NL). The evening is moderated by Bertan Selim (MK/NL).

The event is open to all but RSVP is required. Please register your attendance on the Pakhuis de Zwijger website.

About the speakers:

Ezz al Zanoon (Gaza, b. 1992) is an independent photo journalist and filmmaker whose work regularly appears on the Middle East Eye, The Electronic Intifada, and Al Jazeera English, among others. His work is mostly concerned with topics such as human rights and social justice. Last year his work was included in the exhibition HOME at Framer Framed.

Debby Farber (Israel, b. 1977) is a PhD candidate at Ben Gurion University and works as a curator for Zochrot, an Israeli NGO. Founded in 2002, Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew) aims to raise awareness, acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba. Zochrot’s Visual Research Lab is a dynamic platform for reflection, study, development, and production of concepts for the creation of a new visual language that counters the erasure of Palestinianness from the Israeli mental and physical space. For more information please visit the website of Zochrot. 

Tanya Habjouqa (Jordan, b. 1975) is an award-winning photographer, journalist and educator with a background in journalism and anthropology. Her practice links social documentary, collaborative portraiture and participant observation. Her principal interests include gender, representations of otherness, dispossession and human rights, with a particular concern for ever-shifting sociopolitical dynamics in the Middle East. Habjouqa’s work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the collections of MFA Boston, Institut du Monde Arab, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She is a founding member of Rawiya, the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East. She is a mentor on the Arab Documentary Photography Program, organised by Magnum Foundation, Prince Claus Fund, and AFAC. In 2017 she joined photography collective NOOR.

Kadir van Lohuizen (The Netherlands, b. 1963) has covered conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, but is probably best known for his long-term projects on the seven rivers of the world, the rising of sea levels, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas. He has received numerous prizes, including two World Press Photo awards. In September 2007, he and ten others established the NOOR agency (Amsterdam, New York). He became a member of the supervisory board of World Press Photo in 2008. He has published several photobooks, including Diamond Matters, Aderen and Vía PanAm (in collaboration with Paradox).

Dr. Ihab Saloul (PS/NL) is Associate Professor of Heritage and Memory Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Founding Director and Research Vice-Director of The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM). He is a Research Domain Leader at the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI). Saloul is also a founding editor of two book series: Heritage and Memory Studies (Amsterdam University Press), and Palgrave Studies of Cultural Heritage and Conflict (Palgrave Macmillan). His interests include heritage and memory studies, conflict and identity politics, museum studies, cultural analysis, literary and narrative theory, postcolonialism and visual culture as well as migration, diaspora and exile in contemporary cultural thought in the Middle East and Europe.

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