on my review of mourid barghouti’s i was born there… in today’s Independent

Screenshot 2018-03-12 10.30.56

MB by Rex Features The Independent
Horror, and happiness: Mourid Barghouti ( Rex Features )

I Was Born There, I Was Born Here,

By Mourid Barghouti, trans. Humphrey Davies

GUY MANNES-ABBOTT | FRIDAY 04 NOVEMBER 2011

 

Mourid Barghouti’s first volume of memoir, I Saw Ramallah, is a classic of the genre and a uniquely clear-eyed account of returning home after 30 years of serial expulsion. Barghouti is also the poet of displacement in general as well as its specific Palestinian form. In between the first and this second volume of memoir came Midnight & Other Poems – a first selection from many volumes of his poetry.

I Saw Ramallah wove a life of enforced absences into a moment of return to that city and the author’s home village of Deir Ghassanah in 1996, with prose of poetic concision. It ended with Barghouti recrossing an indelibly memorialised bridge over the Jordan river to collect a permit for his son Tamim, so they could return together. “He will see it. He will see me in it, and we shall ask all the questions after that.”

I Was Born… is that collection of “questions” Continue reading “on my review of mourid barghouti’s i was born there… in today’s Independent”

on an art of two-sides, mathaf interference at ICA

Shumon Basar and Jack Persekian Wash Hands…

Jack Persekian’s performance of Nablus Soap at the ICA, as part of the Mathaf’s Interference weekend, was brilliant.

The work takes off from a show he put on with Mona Hatoum back in the early days in Jerusalem. It recounts that earlyness, the basic space, cold and uninviting and the process of arriving at the piece –Present tense [1996]- by Mona H., its installation and the historical context of a disastrous willingness to compromise with Occupation in the form of ‘Oslo’. An apologetic Abu Amar is scratched-in which raised a big laugh and the whole piece is damn fine, not least as testament to Nablus.

As Jack and Shumon talked, the film was paused on one of the many Occupation watchtowers that terrorise the Palestinian Hills, lest any of us forget the bloody stain it represents… Continue reading “on an art of two-sides, mathaf interference at ICA”

notes from a biennial, appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP

CAMP-Al-Jaar-Qabla-al-Daar The People From The Family of Abu Saoud Were Kicked Out [Ph. Guy Mannes-Abbott]

click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP

CAMP & I

by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Conversation with Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran [CAMP] March 2011 Sharjah, UAE

Guy Mannes-Abbott [gma]

Tell me a little about your background and approach.

Shaina [Anand]

Broadly speaking my background is film. Actually documentary practice, and a lot of what we do as CAMP as well -Ashok’s background is architecture and “new media”… Continue reading “notes from a biennial, appendix [i] in conversation with CAMP”

no settling for occupation, palestine 2010

Under the kind of Occupation that Palestinians have been for decades there is literally no room for manoeuvre, very few forms of resistance. A new P.A. law banning the sale of Settlement produce -and Palestinians to work in the Settlements by 2011- is a difficult yet undeniable achievement. The difficulty is that working within these illegal zones [42% of the ‘west bank’ and rising] has been a scarce source of income for those imprisoned in the Palestinian hills.

There are many things wrong with the P.A., here is one thing they’ve got right. My own recent realisation that most of what is possible to eat in occupied Palestine is prison food -controlled/supplied by the Occupation- was mortifying and underscores why this ban is a difficult one to make and sustain. Outside occupied Palestine, it’s the easiest thing in the world to boycott the fruits of this uniquely chronic and brutal Occupation. It’s dead simple; do you want to be sustained by crimes against your  -or your children’s- own humanity?

Continue reading “no settling for occupation, palestine 2010”

HAZARDS, writing back no. 48

Amherst, Summer 1863

Dear Emilie,

Let’s have no more “I will pick no rose, lest it fade or prick me”. No matter how often you write this it smacks of insincerity. Especially when you also write of night skies that look like “Jerusalem! … mountains that touch[ed] the sky, and brooks that sang like bobolinks.” You add “I will give them to you, for they are mine, and “all things are mine.”” This sounds peculiarly American to me, not only because I first heard it in the voice of Jack Kerouac; “everything belongs to me because I’m poor.” His is ultimate truth, routinely misunderstood, though not by you. I was running last night after a long day ended with evocative Dhokla. Out in the middle of London under a bright sky, upon the Millennium Bridge as bells chimed the quarter hour before midnight. While crossing I realised that running here is a boast of residence. The great river, peculiarly low in tide, echoed my possession. I’ve taken to running on the road itself, marking it as mine. Opening out strides, I left behind a day brimming with love in a faster time than ever. I called out to friendly foxes and allow the porcelain tulips another night of potency. Poor as I may be, everything belongs to me on the “unhoused” bridge.

g.

Fruitstore 14.v.2010