Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New article: Dor Guez at The Mosaic Rooms reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 18th April 2013

“We are a minority within a minority,” says one of the speakers in Watermelons about Christians in the Middle East. “Nobody would think twice if we were massacred. We are the weakest people in the region.” This seems to fuel Guez’s desire to record and preserve images and memories — although he is half Sephardic Jewish, he identifies primarily with the remnant of Christian Palestinian society he grew up in. “It’s a culture, not just a faith,” he said, which is why he has chosen to concentrate on this aspect of his family history. “The Jewish community have enormous amounts of archives. We don’t.”

The full article is here.

[I find myself wondering how Guez and the Mosaic Rooms are going to react to this review. My intention is that it should be read as broadly positive. I think it’s an interesting, as I said in the review ‘thought-provoking’, show, with some powerful images, although Guez’s style of film-making doesn’t totally work for me. But I wonder – and only time will tell – how they’re going to take the discussion of the issue of boycott and hasbara. Mentioning that was a reaction to some of the reactions I got to telling people I was reviewing this exhibition. The mention of 5 Broken Cameras is intended to highlight the practical difficulties of applying the cultural boycott and determining which organisations and works it applies to – what, in the end, counts as ‘Israeli’. There are some significant critics of how the boycott campaign has been implemented – see about 2/3 of the way down this article by Virginia Tilley, for instance – and I suspect that many activists see the issue in a very black-and-white way which hits problems when it comes to issues like projects like this.]

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