Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone du 19 au 24 Juillet 2010


Chronotopes in Israeli and Palestinian Art (095) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel

· NOT_DEFINED institution: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (USA)

· NOT_DEFINED organizer: Yaron Shemer

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Chair:Yaron Shemer, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Paper presenter: Alexandra Nocke, Berlin, “Israel's Place at the Mediterranean: An Exploration into the Visual Representations of Tel Aviv and the Sea”
Paper presenter: Yaron Shemer, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, “At the End of the World: The Periphery in Israeli Cinema”
Paper presenter: Mark Westmoreland, American University in Cairo, “Representing Shatila”

In his coinage of ‘Chronotope,’ Bakhtin rendered time and place a matrix organizing the narrative. In Cultural Studies the term is often employed as a heuristic tool to unveil ideology and discourse. The panel focuses on the construction of space and time in Israeli and Palestinian art in order to explore political and ethnic dilemmas that have marred these two peoples.

Nocke’s paper ‘Israel’s Place at the Mediterranean’ is set out to look into the ambivalent positioning of the city of Tel Aviv in Israeli art. Being the first Hebrew city, Tel Aviv became a crowning achievement of modern Zionism. Unlike the historical burden that has inflicted Jerusalem, Tel Aviv was seen as a virgin space and thus as imagined locus onto which artists could project their ideas and desires. Nocke’s argues that, ultimately, the city and its shores have played an important role in the formation of ‘Israeliness.’

Shemer’s paper ‘At the End of the World’ shifts the focus from Israel’s center to the decrepit ‘development towns’ on the outskirts of Israel’s borders and which are populated mostly by Mizrahi immigrants. In exploring the cinematic construction of time and place, Shemer proposes that contemporary Israeli films render these towns as ‘no-place’ existing in ‘no-time.’ This chronotopic lacuna points to the persistence of the Mizrahi predicament in Israeli society.

Examining three films on the massacre in the Lebanese Shatila refugee camp in1982, Westmoreland’s ‘Representing Shatila’ addresses the different subjective positioning of the camp and its victims. In contrast to the German-Lebanese Massaker and the Israeli Waltz with Bashir which foreground the victimizers, the Lebanese Roundabout Shatila zooms in on the victims. Westmoreland suggests that not only the site of ‘refuge’ changes meaning in these films, but time itself is rendered differently; whereas the first two films delve into the horrific moment of the massacre, Rond Point Shatila contextualizes this event within a broader history of violence to which the camp’s residents were subjected.