It's Not About the House, is an outdoor billboard constructed in the downtown of my hometown Nablus, Palestine. Appropriating family insurance ads from New Palestine, Indiana. I wondered at Nabulsi families calling the US-family insurance company I appropriated, digitally manipulated and advertised in Palestine. Hoping to translate, subvert, and displace the American Dream visually to occupied lands. 

Photo: Majd Assali 2019.

The Seventh Sarhais a 20 minute video negotiates between 360° technologies to displace or relocate the Museum of New Palestine, IN. Every time I visited New Palestine felt like a sci fi, virtual reality moment. Passing between Lebanon, OH and South Lebanon, OH, while google map suggests New Palestine to me, mimicking the same order of the actual geography that created these illusion, borders that I can not travel around the "real" Palestine. I overlap the landscape of Palestine and the bucolic midwest US landscape in New Palestine, IN. Combining between 360° footage and 2D content to create a broken panorama of a checkpoint in the West Bank, I question these resolutions through the image and political representations it produce.

Reading New Palestine, OH, is a 10 minute lecture performance posits the idea of having a “New” Palestine, in the U.S. requiring a translation of my home country to a new context. I read the Arabic text of “New Palestine” by Nadim Rouhana on an unraveling and unwieldy scroll at the 100th anniversary event of the Belford Accord. I refuse to translate the untranslatable aspects of the Palestinian context. 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.

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