“Azoulay has produced a unique handbook for the 2020s that details how, why, when and where to say no in the affirmative. Her greatest achievement is that, against the foreshortened horizons of a despoiling barbarism, she makes all our tomorrows thinkable.“Guy Mannes-Abbott – Third Text – April 2020
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, ‘Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism’
Verso Books, New York and London, 2019
656pp, ISBN 978-1788735711
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay’s Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism is almost double the size of my copy of Edward Said’s Orientalism and about half the size, in turn, of Karl Marx’s first volume of Capital. There are many nuanced differences across such a crudely mapped zone but the quality that all three share is a burning desire to change, to radically redistribute the world as it is, or appears to be. Azoulay’s six-hundred-page-long Potential History offers a liveable commonworld through exacting reparations and ends with a very short but insistent affirmation: ‘The potential is there’. 
Continue reading “notes_24 “Aieeee-shaaaa”, a Potential History. Or, unlearning imperialism with Ariella Aisha Azoulay | TT” →
Take these essays at difficult things inside you, let them pulse through your body and mind. And to your heart, yes. It may require more courage – in Britain, in English- than even I conceived in the last months of 2004. Courage and none at all, because these are a range of essays -as the short review below makes very clear.
I’ve been trying to develop a measure of truth in the context of the Persian Gulf and the regime in Abu Dhabi in as universal way as possible from an inventorised location in London and in English. I settled on a millennium-old measure from an Arabic treatise on taste. More on that in links to publications to come, but it reminds me of the increasing difficulty of being able to recognise a Palestinian right to exist in Britain or in English. Continue reading “note_09 “It may require courage (but) take these marvelous essays to heart” Mezzaterra, Ahdaf Soueif” →
“One. Mickey Mouse is not one of the bronze figures that grace Jewad Salim’s “Nusub al-Hurriya” (Liberty Monument”, 1961) in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square…”
On the occasion of Ala’s first showing of her Plan for a Greater Baghdad (2015) at Delfina Foundation in London along with a new work; Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad (installation view above; photo Tim Bowditch, courtesy DF and Art Jameel), I should share this text of mine (below in page by page pdfs) since it is not yet re-published in book form. It was commissioned as an independent text and explicitly not as a critique of the work itself. This was not because a serious critical piece on the work would not be good to read or write but because I wanted to extend my e.things essay form and write more broadly about subjects that I had some intimacy with over many years.
Figuring Lesser Baghdadis (One to Seven) belonged with another such text from 2015, Labouring One to Seven (Island of Terror) produced for Venice Biennale and e-flux journal‘s brilliant SUPERCOMMUNITY project, now re-published by Verso with an Introduction by Antonio Negri. The latter was explicitly the model for the former. It was also a “small collaboration” to use Ala’s phrase when we discussed it in 2015. Continue reading “note_02 Figuring Lesser Baghdadis (One to Seven) a “small collaboration” w Ala Younis 2015″ →
In Ramallah, Running in Almanac 2013 – article below
I will catch up on posting the wonderfully generous critical responses and cleverly probing interviews to and around In Ramallah, Running since its launch soon -and amongst other things.
But this one was a lovely welcome home to London after a month away in India: a sharp, perceptive and very gratifying response to my book and I have to post the review now!
That should not imply that others were not and will be, only that I have the time/opportunity today…
Almanac 2013 is worth tracking down in full and hard copy too by the way, meanwhile I attach clickable pages from the full article below: Continue reading “on the first review of in ramallah, running in 2013 -artasiapacific’s almanac 2013” →
More details: http://www.mosaicrooms.org/in-ramallah-running/
In Ramallah, Running began with a writer’s residency at A.M. Qattan’s Ramallah base in 2010, so it gives me great pleasure to invite you to this launch-related event at al Qattan’s elegant Mosaic Rooms in London, part of the Nour Festival.
Intended as a celebration, it will include a short reading followed by a discussion with the esteemed critic and introducer of the book Jean Fisher, and the Abraaj Prize-winning Jananne al-Ani, whose contribution to the book is so subtly affective. The panel will be chaired by writer and critic Sheyma Buali of Ibraaz, etc. [ http://www.mosaicrooms.org/in-ramallah-running/ ]
I hope you’ll be able to join us and am sure The Mosaic Rooms would appreciate it if you were also able to RSVP: email@example.com / 020 7370 9990
For interviews, early reviews and further UK events, check here: http://www.g-m-a.net/index.php?/ramallah/news/
Book Launch for In Ramallah, Running hosted at Delfina Foundation
12 September, 2012 at 19:00 – 21:00
Details of event in this link: IR,R launch at DF
Location/contacts in this link: IR,R launch DF
Please come …
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
In Ramallah, Running by Guy Mannes-Abbott – July 26 2012
A brief word to celebrate the release of my book at last!
I’m attaching a copy of the Press Release which went out today with details about the book and its contents as well as contacts for review copies and further information.
In Ramallah, Running by Guy Mannes-Abbott | Press Release July 2012
I will update with news as well as details about a launch we will be having in early September, along with other readings, launch-related events, discussions and festival appearances in London, the UK and beyond.
I am running in Ramallah and it is in audio in the current issue of Manifesta Journal #14 which you can read online here, download the complete pdf here, or go straight to the Translated By pages here. Scroll down to where it says ‘You pick a random number’ and 3, etc., and listen to the audio of my excerpt. All this running makes it a bit less painful -and In Ramallah, Running proper will be here soon!
Do have a look at MJ14 edited by Rasha Salti et al and with some great sections; conversation with Naeem Mohaimen, and one on Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige’s Lebanese Rocket Society, the main monument of which stands today in a public square in downtown Sharjah -a SAF commission from 2010’s Biennial. Manifesta as such kicks off in Genk, Belgium this year of course; end of May slash start of June. Be there!
Horror, and happiness: Mourid Barghouti ( Rex Features )
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” →
Untitled by Maggie Osama
What is it with the Israeli flag [see other images] and walls? When are the watch towers going to appear? When will children start being shot, imprisoned without charge and routinely abused? Continue reading “on another wall to be torn down, this time in Cairo [for a while]” →