note_09 “It may require courage (but) take these marvelous essays to heart” Mezzaterra, Ahdaf Soueif

Mezzaterra US Cover GMA Quote Independent

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”

on the publication date for in ramallah, running, july 26th 2012

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.

More soon…

‘i am running in ramallah and it is painful…’ in manifesta journal #14 online & at genk

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!

‘i am running in ramallah and it is painful…’ at SALT galata 06.04.12-08.07.12

Translated By in a new configuration and new location. I’ve not made it yet but hope I might. There is also a new version of the book, edited by Shumon, Charles and Suna Kafadar and designed by Zak. I’ve not seen it yet, etc.!

Meanwhile, In Ramallah, Running has been painful too, but advances are promised by the publisher very soon now and I will of course share confirmed publication and other dates when I have them. Meanwhile, very good bound proofs are available for review and related purposes. Contacts are here in the pdf button at the top. Be in touch!

notes from a meeting, on throwing forth – artists and audiences [day two pt1]

Murtaza Vali Artists & Audiences Photo G Mannes-Abbott

CLICK on image to link to SAF & more images or read on below…

Murtaza Vali moderated another of the central panels during this March Meeting; Artists and Audiences. One which spoke from the UK, the USA/Dubai, Palestine, Taiwan and Qatar to an audience far more diverse in its locations. Vali spoke of a radical “rethinking of the artwork as a situation that requires an audience to complete it”, something which new media has helped generate as well as being some of its sites. As he said, this raises many issues but “the really big one [is] what is it exactly that we mean by the word audience?” If audience activates the artwork then how does the artist/artwork/institution ‘activate’ the audience? How is theory made new practice?

It’s a tough question which the panel bounced around but didn’t ‘dunk’. Louise Hui-Juan Hsu from the Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taiwan, for example, reminded us that the “translator in this case, is beyond the translation of words”. Abed al Ju’beh, who runs the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre in Ramallah, Palestine, spoke of the singularity of his literally captive audience. I’d not seen him since the leaving party at his home in the South-east of England 5-6 years ago when he took up this post. Ramallah is at the heart of a giant open air prison where, he said, the audience comes looking for confirmation of their existence. It’s an audience which the Sakakini reaches out to with a residency programme strictly for local artists. Continue reading “notes from a meeting, on throwing forth – artists and audiences [day two pt1]”

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 mourid barghouti’s i was born there, i was born here due 7 Nov in UK

Deir Ghassanah from the restored ‘ruins of al Khawas’ tomb & masjid [Ph. G Mannes-Abbott 2010]

The much anticipated arrival in English of a second volume of Mourid Barghouti’s memoirs is now close enough to touch… Indeed, I have it here in my happy fingers. My efforts to try to read it in Arabic, with only a basic grasp of the language, met an honourable end without ever getting close to the uniquely precise presence of its author in his words…

Publication of I Was Born There, I was Born Here is November 7th and Mourid will be appearing at Oxford University, the Bristol Festival of Ideas, and London’s Southbank Centre. I’m reserving comment on the book for reasons that will become clear, but if you’ve never seen Mourid’s words come to life in his voice right in front of you then waste no time in getting hold of a seat or a ticket at these events… Continue reading “on mourid barghouti’s i was born there, i was born here due 7 Nov in UK”

on ‘in ramallah, running’ -it’s official; publication is [NOT!] february 2012 [UPDATED]

In Ramallah, Running 2010′ by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Manuscript in first draft, 5 of 14 scrolls/parts

In Ramallah, Running is now contracted to appear in February/March 2012 with Black Dog, more details/announcements to follow [24.04.2012 UPDATE: publication pushed back into summer 2012, watch for update very soon].

I’m very happy because the book was conceived and developed independently and will appear within the kind of urgent time frame that is appropriate to its subject and hard to achieve without compromise -or at all. I finished my 20,000 word series of e.things -a unique conjuring of place as well as the people of Ramallah and almost the whole open-air camp that is Ramallah District- in mid-September 2010 [after my Residency at al Qattan Foundation in Ramallah]. The series is made up of fourteen parts, alternating running within the limits of the city and walking out from it to, along, beyond and off limits, discovering how mobile they are. How they really work.

e.things as a form were crucial to this project because they’re the only way I could say what needed to be said. Often exhibited or published in a visual art context [with the best visual minds of my generation!], they’ve grown into a highly singular body of texts; the shortest of which is a single line called ‘go’ from 1997, the longest is this series; In Ramallah, Running. Continue reading “on ‘in ramallah, running’ -it’s official; publication is [NOT!] february 2012 [UPDATED]”

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”