On visual resistance and domination: Jaafar Alloul, ‘Signs of Visual Resistance in Palestine: Unsettling the Settler-Colonial Matrix’, Middle East Critique, 2015
Abstract: This article contrasts historical and contemporary discourses and visualizations of the notions of Homeland, the Other and the Self that have been applied in the Zionist/Israeli project to colonize Palestine and displace its indigenous inhabitants. It actively connects theories of visual sociology and cultural studies (postmodern critical theory) with (1) various Israeli and Palestinian political discourses of Belonging (nationhood) while also (2) providing the reader with clear-cut, material examples of both exclusivist Zionist technologies of power and subaltern Palestinian techniques of counter-discourse, ultimately retracing historical continuity and unveiling resonant dialectics of modern nationalist doctrine across the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries throughout both Europe and the Middle East. Critically tracing and decoding the altering semiotic identity of a set of politicized posters highlights the key importance and the ongoing use of abstract power (discourse) within Israeli strategies of occupation and siege while simultaneously disclosing innovative Palestinian forms of visual resistance that advocate ‘existence’ in an asymmetric configuration of ‘conflict’. In order to interpret the selected visuals fully, one needs foremost to be acquainted with the interwoven ‘migration’ of populations, ideas, and praxes through both time and space.
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