It's Not About the House billboard in Nablus, Palestine, 2019

Appropriating family insurance ads from New Palestine, IN , I wondered at Nabulsi families calling the US-family insurance company I borrowed, digitally manipulated and advertised in Palestine. Hoping to translate, subvert, and displace the American Dream visually to occupied lands, I turned that ad into a billboard placed in my hometown, Nablus, Palestine.

Photo: Majd Assali

The Seventh Sarha, 360° video, 20 min, 2019

Every time I visited New Palestine felt like a sci fi, virtual reality moment for me. Passing between Lebanon, OH and South Lebanon, OH, while Google map suggests New Palestine below, mimicking the same order of the actual geography that created these illusion, border I can’t travel between or from the "real" Palestine. Thus, I negotiate between 360° video technology to displace or relocate the Museum of New Palestine, IN. I overlap the landscape of Palestine, experiences I recorded passing through checkpoints, and the bucolic midwest US landscape. Combining between 360° footage and 2D content in order to create this broken panoramas I took years ago in Palestine. I question these resolutions through the image and political representations it produce.

Reading New Palestine, OH, Lecture performance, 10 min, 2017

Reading the article “New Palestine” by Nadim Rouhana in Arabic on an unraveling and unwieldy scroll, I posit the idea of having a “New” Palestine, in the U.S. requiring a translation of my home country to a new context. At this 100th anniversary event of the Belford Accord I refuse the role of translator, refusing to translate the untranslatable aspects of the Palestinian context. This inaccessible work rests on the aesthetics and performance of Arabic and the official rhetoric of renown Palestinian scholar Rouhana and his understanding of the history of Palestine and its future. His analytical and political staging of optimism. Belonging to a generation of the 1st and 2nd Intifada my performance mutes this optimism while challenging a U.S. audience to listen to an Arab voice and language, while seeing our script in unfetishistic terms..

Presented for the event 100 Years Since Balfour Accord on Nov 02, 2017 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Using Format