Hania A.M. Nashef deposited Virtual Space: Palestinians Negotiate a Lost Homeland in Film in the group TC Memory Studies on MLA Commons 2 weeks ago
In his seminal study, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation, Eyal Weizman argues how the Israeli occupation has forced a new imagined space to emerge, which is at once confining to the Palestinians and increases their sense of marginalization and loss. Changing the landscape through imposing architecture construction is a way to appropriate and erase a past. Moreover, overbearing edifices, checkpoints and enforced enclosures, culminating in the apartheid wall, have aborted any possibility of a homeland to come into being. Palestinians had to look elsewhere to keep the memory of the lost homeland alive. Film is one medium that has helped in shaping the lost homeland, albeit virtually, preserving the little that remains. In this chapter, I would like to discuss a number of films, namely by Palestinian directors Hany Abu-Assad, Suha Arraf and Elia Suleiman, who use film to allow a virtual homeland to come into being, a possible world that even though fictitious or imaginary-reconstructed is modally realistic as an unactualised possibility.