Past Public Program

United States of Palestine-Israel: Here And Elsewhere at The New School

With a title lifted from Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville’s film Here and Elsewhere (Ici et Ailleurs, 1976), this day of screenings presented contemporary and historical, documentary and fictional films to suggest correspondences in the contested land of Palestine/Israel. Curated by 2011-2013 Vera List Center Fellow Joshua Simon, the program proposed to view the conflict through the prism of “affinities” rather than “belonging” and “addition” rather than “opposition,” and did so in a mixed program of film screenings and conversations. It is presented as one of two programs to accompany the publication of United States of Palestine-Israel (in the Solution series by Sternberg Press, 2011), a book of speculative scenarios for the region, edited by Simon.

Reaching beyond geographical borders and instead focusing on the word “and,” the films presented fictional stories about run-down places in Jaffa (Copti and Boukhary); speculation on the future Jewish-Arab State (Rosen and Atia); visions of Israel in Uganda, proposed by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (when, at the beginning of Zionism, Uganda was considered for Jewish settlement); the landscapes of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea so familiar to both Palestinians and Israelis (Struggle in Jerash); and, finally, Godard’s reading of the history of this place through cinema, and a reading of cinema and history through this place (Ici et Ailleurs and Notre Musique).

Participants included:
Udi Aloni, filmmaker, writer, activist, and cinema coach, the Freedom Theatre, Jenin refugee camp, West Bank (via Skype)
Reem Fadda, Associate Curator, Middle Eastern Art, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Sam Ishii-Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Film Studies, The New School for Public Engagement
Joshua Simon, Editor, United States of Palestine-Israel, and 2011-2013 Vera List Center Fellow