Emily Jacir

"Material for a film": Retracing Wael Zuaiter (Part 1)

Wael Zuaiter was the first victim in Europe in a series of assassinations of Palestinian artists, intellectuals and diplomats perpetrated by Israeli agents that was already underway in the Middle East. Zuaiter was gunned down by 12 bullets outside his apartment in Piazza Annibaliano, Rome on 16 October 1972. In 1979, Zuaiter’s companion of eight years, Sydney-born artist Janet Venn-Brown published For a Palestinian: A Memorial to Wael Zuaiter. Artist Emily Jacir writes how a chapter of the work which was to be made into a film became the point of departure for her project “Material for a film.” 

"Material for a film": A performance (Part 2)

On Monday, 16 October 1972, Wael Zuaiter left Janet Venn-Brown’s apartment and headed to his apartment at no. 4 Piazza Annibaliano in Rome. He had been reading One Thousand and One Nights on Janet’s couch, searching for references to use in an article he was planning to write that evening. He took two buses to get from Venn-Brown’s place to his in northern Rome. Just as he reached the elevator inside the entrance to the building of the apartment block where he lived, Israeli assassins fired 12 bullets into his head and chest with .22 caliber pistols at close range. 

Palestinian Revolution Cinema Comes to NYC

The New York Arab and South Asian Film Festival will pay tribute to a group of filmmakers who have made significant contributions to various categories of Palestinian Revolution Cinema between the years of 1968 and 1982. Given the current political environment in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon in 2007, it is especially important to screen these films which have slipped through the cracks of history. They are a visual testament to past events and offer us a glimpse of history from the perspective of the people who actually lived it, a perspective not sanctioned by the official US/European meta-narrative of the region. 

Photostory: Retracing bus no. 23 on the historic Jerusalem-Hebron Road

I was 13 years old standing next to my father in Bethlehem one sunny and windy day when he took my hand and pointed to the settlement of Gilo and said, “See baba, see there?” My eyes followed his finger as it moved across the landscape and stopped at the settlement of Har Gilo. “And there. See? They are going to build settlements just like those all around us.” Then with his arm still outstretched, we turned in a circle and as I watched his finger pointing at the horizon line around Bethlehem and Beit Jalla, he added, “One day they will encircle us.” 

A Tale of Two Sisters: Witnessing an Undercover Israeli Operation in Ramallah (2)

Today is November 15th. Today is our supposed “Independence Day”. A joke. Was almost killed today. This will be brief and inarticulate. I am still in shock…I peeked again, to see some Israelis beating the shit out of a Palestinian man and throwing him into their van. The mustarabeen next to us got back into their van. As we were in their way they smashed into our car and sped off. Meanwhile in front of us and to the right, the Israelis started to pull back. Kids started throwing stones. They shot at us again. They started pulling back again. 

Ali La Pointe and Zena's words on the New York streets

I was invited to teach at an art workshop, so yesterday I went. I gave a lecture in the morning and then in the afternoon I was asked to give the students an assignment that they could do in two hours. I decided to print emails from my inbox from the last two weeks. I also printed out the article about the Americans rushing bombs to Israel and spoke about the absurdity of the question Americans ask about wether to get involved or not when they are 100 percent involved! I gave each student a different email, and a copy of the article, and told them to go out into the streets and do something in the public sphere based on their interaction, (or reaction) or whatever with the emails.