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”

on the politics of the dead child -occupation vs humanity

independentLondon

What is a Palestinian State Worth? By Sari Nusseibeh

Reviewed by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Friday, 22 April 2011

Writing about William Wordsworth, Jacques Ranciere celebrated a consideration for “all that is too small” in his poetry about the post-revolutionary landscape of France. The theorist also articulated a post-millennial consensus; lauding the poet for taking care of “the dead child that every politics abandons”. Such a child is the moral focus of Sari Nusseibeh’s new book, but with unintended results. Continue reading “on the politics of the dead child -occupation vs humanity”

on the biting wisdom of poets [two], mahmoud darwish

Mahmoud Darwish Absent Presence Hesperus CoverMine is a very short review in today’s Independent [in which you can also read Robert Fisk direct from al Tahrir Square, Cairo!] but then it’s a very short book and I couldn’t pretend that length diminished this version (in Mohammed Shaheen’s translation) of Darwish’s Absent Presence!

I’ve quoted Mahmoud Darwish’s own use of the word “baffling”, below. What is truly baffling is that in English there are almost as many translators as editions of his books. A lesser voice would have been neutered by this, but Darwish is a national writer on a par with any nation and simply deserves better.

 

Screenshot 2018-03-12 10.30.56

Absent Presence,

By Mahmoud Darwish

Lessons in life from the great divide

Reviewed by Guy Mannes-Abbott

Monday, 31 January 2011

Mahmoud Darwish was a giant of world literature.

This elegant edition of the last completed work before the Palestinian poet’s death in 2008 makes clear why. Absent Presence is a huge little book which defies conventional categorisation. It offers costly wisdoms Continue reading “on the biting wisdom of poets [two], mahmoud darwish”

settlements app, the actuality is significantly worse

The Guardian reports [here] on the launch by American Friends of Peace of an app -Facts on the Ground- designed to keep the shameless growth of illegal settlements to hand. The idea is that, just as with previous historical examples of massive or sustained crimes against humanity, you can’t say you didn’t know. [Re; imminent end of temporary freeze, expect another shorter one with various exclusions -and renewed slaughter somewhere or other- by the masters of exceptionalism. Or out and out resumption of same. They won’t actually stop, they will have to be stopped, actually.]

iPhone Screenshot 1

So it’s very welcome; you can check the number of illegal settlers of a hyper-nationalist or -religious persuasion and how much of the settlement is classified as “private Palestinian land” just as easily as you can check how many Boris Bikes are at each stop. My only complaint is that even with this to hand the actuality is underplayed. How do I know? Because I’ve walked around these very settlements, onto overlooking hills and photographed them only this summer. I’ve witnessed the actuality and know the truth. Just as every Palestinian imprisoned in the otherwise gorgeous hills knows -something you might ponder.

Continue reading “settlements app, the actuality is significantly worse”