CLOSING SESSION – GUEST TALK
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Dorit Naaman (Alliance Atlantis Professor, Department of Film and Media, Queen’s University)
Dr Naaman will use her interactive documentary “Jerusalem, We Are Here” to anchor a discussion on research-creation, and community based research, in the context of Cultural Studies.
If houses and streets, neighbourhoods and cities could tell us their stories, what would these be? The present dominates our sense of our space, but the past is always enduring under the surface, even when it has been socially, politically and economically concealed. Jerusalem, We Are Here is an interactive documentary that digitally brings Palestinians back into the Jerusalem neighbourhoods from which they were expelled in 1948. Focusing primarily on Katamon, Palestinian participants or their descendants probed their families’ past, and engaged with the painful present. Together we produced short, poetic videos, filled with nostalgia, sorrow, and fleeting returns. The films are embedded into a virtual tour, where the audience – in Amman, Cairo, Jerusalem, Paris, Toronto and beyond – can “walk” down the streets of Katamon as these were filmed in 2012-2015. As we meander down the streets of contemporary Jerusalem, our sound-scape soundscape is of the 1940s; and when we reach the home of each participant, we can watch the video/audio produced. As the generation of Palestinians who survived the Nakba (the 1948 catastrophe) is aging and passing on, there is an urgent need to collect their stories and knowledge, and remap the space that has been declared entirely Israeli. When people flee war, they rarely take with them their photo albums or documents or the art off the walls. In Remapping Katamon, the map side of “Jerusalem, We Are Here”, we will continue to organically and communally remap the neighbourhood, house by house.