I’lam’s conference "Nakba Media, Film and Discourse"
In conjunction with the sixty-seventh anniversary of the Nakba of the Palestinian people, I’lam media centre organised a conference entitled "Nakba Media and Film and discourse”, on Friday 15th May, 2015.
The conference was opened with a welcome given by I’lam’s general director, Professor Amal Jamal, before Samah Bsoul presented "Nakba in the Israeli public space: denial and responsibility configurations" – a summary of important data collected from the news and articles related to the Nakba published in 5 Israeli newspapers during the years 2008 to 2012. This information was published in Hebrew this year, and will be issued in Arabic through the Institute for Palestine Studies.
The conference then moved on to the first panel discussion, entitled "the Nakba in the Palestinian Local Media", moderated by journalist Saeid Hasaneen who included the other panellists in discussion: Dr Ahmad Saadi, Dr Iman Abu Hanna- Nahhas, writer Anton Sulhut, journalist Hisham Nafaa, and activist Hanan Alsanaa. The speakers touched on the research that Palestinians and Arabs have published since the Nakba until today, stressing the importance of documentation and verbal memory (the old people who can tell the story about what they experience during Nakba). The speakers also agreed on the fact that the ‘Nakba’ itself continues to the present day, through racism and discrimination that takes many different forms. This is in contrast, the speakers stressed, to the presence of the Nakba in the media, which is limited to the period between the date of Israeli ‘independence’, and the official Israeli anniversary date of the Nakba on 15th May each year. It was pointed out that efforts to issue educational materials related to the Nakba to the public through the media raises some concerns in Israeli circles.
The second panel discussion was entitled "Palestinian cinema, the Nakba and sources of funding". This discussion was moderated by the director Firas Khoury, with the participation of a new panel: the researcher and lecturer George Khleifi, director Ola Tabari, director Ali Nassar, producer Abdel Salam Abu Askar, and the composer Ahmed Damen. Researcher George Khleifi began by defining the trauma experienced by Palestinians in 1948, and then went on to examine the Palestinian narrative in cinema and the presence of the Nakba as a backdrop. The panel also touched on the issue of funding in Palestinian cinema, and the difficulties faced due to the fact that financiers have agendas which impose restrictions on the content of films.