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Israeli and Palestinian Cinema Part 1 | The New School

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Uploaded on Oct 7, 2011

The New School (http://www.newschool.edu) presents Israeli and Palestinian Cinema: Shaping Memory and Imagining the Future

Scholar Ella Habiba Shohat and curator Rasha Salti discuss the new edition of Shohat's seminal book Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Library of Modern Middle Eastern Studies, 2010). This conversation is punctuated by brief excerpts from Palestinian films produced in Israel, and diasporic films that address the contested geography of Israel/Palestine. When it first appeared in 1989, this book shaped a new paradigm for critical discussion in Israel of "national cinema" and the Zionist master narrative. Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation explores cinema as a productive site of national culture. Taking its cue from the coincidental emergence of Zionism and the cinema around the same time, the book deconstructs the movement by considering the role that cinema has played in the "invention" of the Jewish nation. The book provoked a stormy public debate when it was translated into Hebrew. Rethinking the Eurocentric imaginary of East versus West, Shohat highlights the paradoxes of an anomalous national/colonial project, addressing issues such as the ambivalence toward the geographies of East and West; the Sabra as negation of the Diaspora Jew; the iconography of the land of Israel as a denial of Palestine; the narrative role of the good Arab and the limits of positive image analysis; and the oxymoronic place allotted to Arab-Jews/Mizrahim within an orientalist historical and social discourse.

The new edition includes an extensive postscript about the book's original reception. It looks at the inscription of the Arab-Jewish memory of Muslim spaces, and reflects on the Palestinian narration of the Nakba within a revisionist cinema that actively constructs an audio-visual archive.

Ella Habiba Shohat is a professor of cultural studies and Middle Eastern studies at New York University. Rasha Salti is the former creative director and film programmer of Arte East. Presented in collaboration with Arte East.

Hosted by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics
http://www.newschool.edu/vlc
http://www.veralistcenter.org

*Location: Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor - Monday, October 03, 2011 6:30 p.m.

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