Doctoral candidate Rotem Rozental’s essay, “Under Dor Guez’s Bed: Scenes from the ‘Christian Palestinian Archive’,” appears in the latest issue of the journal Photographies, Vol. 9, No. 1 (April 2016): 3–29.
The impulse for artist Dor Guez’s ongoing Christian Palestinian Archive (CPA) project can be traced to 1948, the year in which Israel was founded as a state and annexed local Palestinian territories, deporting and displacing their residents. These events are regarded as Nakba (catastrophe) by the Arab population. By examining the formation of the CPA Project, the circulation of images in and out of this private archive and Guez’s photographic practices, this essay suggests the CPA does not construct a lost national identity, but rather narrates and maintains images of a private and personal disaster. By so doing, it exposes governmental and authorial mechanisms that excluded these communities and bodies, but have nonetheless failed to prevent their inevitable emergence into the public sphere. This essay also recognises Guez as part of a growing group of Israeli and Palestinian artists who return to the silenced moments of Nakba and undermine systems that preserved prevalent narratives, such as institutional photographic archives and national museums.