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A-voiding the Void

Book Review of 

Adania Shibli, Tafṣīl thānawī (Dar al-ādāb, Beirut, 2017). Translated as Minor Detail by Elisabeth Jaquette (New Directions, New York, 2020).

Ahmed Masoud, Vanished: The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda (Rimal Publications, Cyprus, 2015)

Ibtisam Azem, Sifr al-īkhtifā’ (Manshūrāt al-jamal, Beirut, 2014). Translated as The Book of Disappearance by Sinan Antoon (Syracuse University Press, New York, 2019)

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The Future of Temple Mount:
Imagined Possibilities in Contemporary
Palestinian and Israeli Art

This article analyzes two contemporary video artworks—one by the Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour and one by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana—in an attempt to better comprehend contemporary visions of the future in the arts of this region. I focus on the chronotope of Temple Mount, or al-Haram al-Sharīf, as a study case that assembles many of the most essential themes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the future of the land is contemplated through the ways in which this indivisible holy site can be shared by the two nations. Through a reading of the two artworks and
their commonalities—both suggest dispossession, relocation, and commodification as alternatives to the current conflicted situation—I ask whether these works exit their own cultural and political zeitgeist and therefore open up new possibilities or whether they are, rather, exemplary of our times, in which we find a growing tendency to depict
the future as hopeless.

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