The New Palestinian Image: Cinematic Work by Kamal Aljafari


Kamal Aljafari’s films, The Roof (2006) and Port of Memory (2009), mix documentary, fiction and autobiography to render an experimental portrait of life in the Palestinian towns of Ramleh and Jaffa. Both places now belong to the municipality of Tel Aviv, Israel. The films focus on images of the mundane, everyday, seemingly banal routines of Aljafari’s community juxtaposed with the disappearing landscape of what once was a robust port, or a fully functioning Palestinian town. As viewers, we are consistently moving between different spaces: the already there of the ruin, the disappeared landscape, the demolitions of Palestinian homes, the development of new ones, the construction of the wall, and the complete erasure of the old Palestinian homes and cemeteries, to make way for the new developed condos and parks. In this way, Aljafari’s films invite us to dwell in the most fragile of places: disappearance-in-progress. They ask us to engage with the following: How does one capture what has already disappeared and is disappearing? Aljafari’s films draw on a different type of political inquiry that manifests in the non-representational form of the image through the architecture of time, and the constitution of a new cinematic Palestinian space. PROGRAM CURATOR NASRIN HIMADA IN ATTENDANCE!

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