Facing the Nakba offers educational resources to U.S. Jews and a general U.S. audience about the history of the Nakba (“Catastrophe” in Arabic) and its implications in Palestine/Israel today. The Nakba refers to the forced displacement of Palestinians that began with Israel’s establishment, and that continues to this day.
Based upon the study guide published by Israeli NGO Zochrot, entitled “How do you say Nakba in Hebrew?,” Facing the Nakba has developed a curriculum and teaching guide about the Nakba for use in workshops and classrooms across the U.S. As educators and activists, we have seen how acknowledgment of the Nakba can deepen discussions of the history of Palestine, Israel, and the occupation. We have seen how silence about the Nakba in American Jewish communities and institutions has enabled a massive ignoring of history and sidelining of Palestinian voices. With this curriculum, we hope to shift and enrich conversations in the U.S. about the history of and possibility for justice in Palestine/Israel.
This gallery includes some of the images, videos, and poems used in our curriculum. The curriculum takes participants through an exploration of the historical events leading up to 1948, an examination of the meaning of testimony, an analysis of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and a reflection on art and resistance today. Many of these pieces are used to illustrate how the Nakba continues to impact Palestinian life now, and how art is used as an act of peaceful resistance. We place different versions of history in conversation with “official history,” to see where they differ and how we can interpret that conflict.
We ask participants and those viewing this gallery to consider: How do these pieces reflect on memory, loss, staying, forgetting? Where have you seen, heard, experienced myths collapsing through art? In what ways can art and storytelling erase, make visible, or change narratives and memory? In what way and through what language do these pieces seem to be universal or particular? What can we learn from them about the historical record?