workshops, performance/intervention

On the Land is a site-specific processual performance and participatory intervention in collaboration with the students of Dar Al-Kalima University that examines the effects of state violence, occupation and war on the land as a live and responsive habitat. The project invites participants to articulate notions of land-rights and Indigeneity with attention to humans and other inhabitants of the land.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed in 1948, only a year after the partition plan for Palestine known as Resolution 181, and a few months after the formation of the State of Israel through destruction of Palestinian villages and expulsion of large number of Palestinians from their ancestral lands. The ongoing Israeli occupation in Palestine, simultaneously enacted through aggression toward Palestinians and their habitats, brings to light two of the fundamental limitations of our contemporary notions and practices of human rights:

  • That human rights are enacted (or not) within the framework of nation-states; and
  • Humans are seen in isolation from their natural, social and cultural environments.

In On the Land workshops we explore the contradictions (produced by the Israeli state, settler colonialism, military occupation, international politics and players) that have produced the conditions in which Palestinians’ human rights [within the framework of UN declaration] and the land itself are routinely violated. We will also explore contemporary artistic strategies as learning and creative methodologies.

The workshop will culminate in a collective performance/intervention staged during the Art and Resistance conference, May 12-16, in Bethlehem. Exact location, date and time will be announced later.

Workshop schedule:
Tuesdays, April 26, May 3, May10: 11 AM – 1 PM (Room 240)
Thursdays, April 28, May 5, May 12: 12:30-2:30 (4th floor studio)

The participants will

  • read and discuss short texts
  • explore potential sites of social intervention
  • build partnerships with existing organizations and players
  • workshop creative ideas and methodologies

Inspirational Concepts

“[In Aboriginal languages] there is no animate/inanimate dichotomy. Everything is more or less animate. Consequently, Aboriginal languages allow for talking to trees and rocks, an allowance not accorded in English. If everything is animate, then everything has spirit and knowledge. If everything has spirit and knowledge, then all are like me. If all are like me, then all are my relations.” [Leroy Little Bear, “Jagged World Views”]

“From a human point of view, patterns, cycles, and happenings are readily observable on land: animal migrations, cycles of plant life, seasons, and so on… Tribal territory is important because Earth is our Mother (and this is not a metaphor: it is real). The Earth cannot be separated from the actual being of Indians [GH: and other Indigenous people]. The Earth is where the continuous and/or repetitive process of creation occurs. It is on the Earth and from the Earth that cycles, phases, patterns – in other words, the constant motion or flux – can be observed. Creation is a continuity. If creation is to continue, then it must be renewed. Renewal ceremonies, the telling and retelling of creation stories, the singing and resigning of the songs, are all humans’ part in the maintenance of creation.” [Leroy Little Bear, “Jagged World Views”]

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