Monday, 18 January 2010
22 February 2010, Mr Falafel, our 4th and last meal there
Units T4 - T5
New Shepherd's Bush Market
Rosalind Nashashibi, Idit Nathan, Maxim Sansour
This was our 4th and last meal at Mr. Falafel and it was a little sad to realize that. In relation to these regular Monday visits to Mr. Falafel, Rosalind asked poignantly - when does something becomes a tradition? We answered, - after the second visit, it already felt like a tradition, or a ritual, it does not take long.
Since Ahmed introduced us to his spicy potatoes, we have had those with falafel on a number of occasions too, creatures of habit we are.
Rosalind is a British visual artist, of Palestinian decent. We spoke with her about the cultural boycott on Israel, which we all support, and the complexities involved in that. For example, the differences between working with Israeli funded organizations, to working with individual artists, or the issues Palestinian artists who live in Israeli territories face, like depending on Israel for financial survival, which complicates the issues of their support of the boycott. We spoke about an art project where Israeli support was not clearly stated, and how one can find them taking part in such an exhibition without knowing it is supported by Israel. We also spoke about situations where Israeli media writes positively about Palestinian art, and how this also constitutes a form of control in the context of the occupation.
With Maxim and Idit we spoke about the looting of Palestinian properties and contents and the issue of international law in relation to this. Idit told us a very interesting story about a house in Talbieh, Jerusalem, which has been recently sold to developers to be regenerated. She filmed there for a couple of years. She found in the house a placard that the house belonged to Martin Buber, one of the few Jewish Zionist philosophers of his time, who talked about the need to acknowledge Palestinian existence in Palestine, rather than deny it altogether. “Buber had been a Zionist since 1888, but as far back as 1918 (soon after in the Balfour Declaration the British recognized a Jewish National Home in Palestine) he rejected what he called the concept of "a Jewish state with cannons, flags and military decorations." He and his colleagues worked for a bi-national Palestine based not on a colonial alliance but on cooperation and parity between Jews and Arabs. From:Martin Buber and Jewish-Arab Peace by Dan Leon
The house known as Buber’s house, Idit told us, actually belongs to Edwards Said's family, his aunt to be precise; Buber was only a lodger there. The placard did not have any reference to the Said family.
Idit Nathan's game on issues of mobility for Palestinians in Israel/Palestine