Sarah Irving

Mapping My Return: A Palestinian Memoir
By Salman Abu Sitta
American University in Cairo Press
2016

Given the centrality of memory and history to the modern Palestinian identity, it is fitting that the number of memoirs and diaries being published by Palestinians seems to be rising.


Photo: Arabfilmfestival.org.

Speed Sisters
Directed by Amber Fares
2015
http://speedsisters.tv

Google “sport” and “Palestine” and what does the search engine return? Football, football and more football.

The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter opposing a boycott of Israel.

The letter, which was also signed by other British cultural figures, such as TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, popular historian Tom Holland and author Hilary Mantel, proclaims its support for what it called “an independent UK network” called Culture for Coexistence.

Henning Mankell, the creator of the Swedish detective Wallander and activist for Palestinian and African rights, died at home on October 5 aged 67. He had been diagnosed with cancer early last year.

Many fans of crime fiction will remember Mankell best for his Wallander novels — dark Scandinavian crime stories featuring a cynical, aging detective. Yet his stand for Palestinian rights is also an important part of his legacy.

Henning Mankell, the creator of the Swedish detective Wallander and activist for Palestinian and African rights, died at home on October 5 aged 67. He had been diagnosed with cancer early last year.

Many fans of crime fiction will remember Mankell best for his Wallander novels — dark Scandinavian crime stories featuring a cynical, aging detective. Yet his stand for Palestinian rights is also an important part of his legacy.

More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects.

The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.

Despite Israel’s relentless aerial bombardments, shelling and ground attacks since July 7, Palestinian writers in Gaza have responded to the latest onslaught by doing what they know — writing.
Ra Page, director of Manchester-based Comma Press, which recently published a collection of short stories from writers in Gaza, says “all of the Book of Gaza contributors are writing away like crazy, whilst they have power”.

In a hard-hitting interview on October 19 for Le Mur a des Oreilles, a program on Belgian station RadioPanik, Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri delivered his clearest statement yet of his political commitment and rejection of the Israeli state’s use of cinema as a propaganda tool.

In the interview, the star of films such as When I Saw You and describes his childhood desire to be a painter, his initial reluctance to act, and his family’s major position in Palestinian theatre and film.

Our Way to Fight
Michael Riordon
Pluto Press, 2011

“People safely outside the situation sometimes ask ‘Why don’t more Palestinians use non-violent protest?’ says Michael Riordon is his concluding chapter to Our Way To Fight.

“The question ignores the long history of Palestinian attempts to seek justice through non-violent means, and the equally long history of official Israeli violence in suppressing these attempts.”

Palestine solidarity campaigners in the Sydney suburb of Leichhardt are celebrating raising more than $5000 for kindergartens in the South Hebron Hills at their annual Refugee Week Festival of Friendship on June 18.

Leichhardt Friends of Hebron’s festival attracted several hundred visitors to a photographic exhibition, indoor market, musical performances, a screening of the film Return to Gaza and a panel debate on boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.

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