Jerusalem, We Are Here

Black and white photo of a home.
Photo of an old home featured on the Jerusalem, We Are Here website.

[…] perhaps it would be possible to find some of these people and see what they remember, and bring them back if not physically, at least virtually, digitally, with art.

Jerusalem, We Are Here is an interactive documentary that digitally brings Palestinians back into the Jerusalem neighbourhoods from which they were expelled in 1948. Focusing primarily on the neighbourhood of Katamon, Palestinian participants probed their families’ past and engaged with the painful present.

Directed by Queen’s professor Dorit Naaaman, the Jerusalem, We Are Here team produced short, poetic videos, filled with nostalgia, sorrow, and fleeting returns.  The films are embedded into a virtual tour where the audience – in Amman, Cairo, Jerusalem, Paris, Toronto and beyond – can “walk” down the streets of Katamon as these were filmed in 2012-2015. As we meander down the streets of contemporary Jerusalem, our soundscape is of the 1940s; and when we reach the home of each participant, we can watch the video/audio produced. As the generation of Palestinians who survived the Nakba (the 1948 catastrophe) is ageing and passing on, there is an urgent need to collect their stories and knowledge, and remap the space that has been declared entirely Israeli.  When people flee war, they rarely take with them their photo albums or documents or the art off the walls.  In Remapping Katamon, the map side of Jerusalem, We Are Here, we will continue to organically and communally remap the neighbourhood, house by house.

More information on the Jerusalem, We Are Here project can be found here. To find out more about Dr. Dorit Naaman and her work, visit her website.