Friday, 19 July 2019
Signposts of Memory Print
Monday, 05 September 2011


Signposts of Memory

These are mixed media works of art on paper. They are a tribute to the endurance of memory of the 400 Palestinian villages which were destroyed during and after the Nakba in 1948 to prevent their inhabitants from returning.

The Palestinian people absorbed a blow so terrible that there was no other word to describe their experience than al-nakba- the catastrophe.” Meron Benvenisti.

I was inspired by these writings.

The identification of Arab villages became a botanical exercise. The silhouette of the village was preserved by cactus hedges, fruit trees growing wild, certain varieties of grasses and brambles that thrive in the ruins of inhabited sites… Geographer Shukri ‘Arraf has lovingly catalogued the characteristic vegetation of the Palestinian countryside: cultivated or wild plants that served as signposts in a landscape from which the human element had disappeared.”

Meron Benvenisti,

Sacred Landscape, The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948.

There are also many fig and almond trees. Most Israelis think these are ‘wild’ figs or ‘wild’ almonds, as they see them in full bloom, towards the end of the winter, heralding the beauty of spring. But these fruit trees were planted and nurtured by human hands. Wherever almond and fig trees, olive groves or clusters of cactuses are found, there once stood a Palestinian village: still blossoming afresh each year, these trees are all that remain.”

Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine

Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13(1).