|The lecture deals with the book and exhibition: Made Public – Palestinian Photographs in Military Archives in Israel (2009). It discusses the manner in which military systems in Israel collect, preserve and make public/censor, photographic information about the Palestinians, in the past and over the years. Made Public exposes how military bodies and archives, like cultural, civil and other systems in Israel have control over the medium of photography – both Israeli and Palestinian- and how they impose their interpretation and worldview on the field and the usage of images: from the production of the single photograph to the way in which archives are built and operate in preserving and distributing the photograph in the public sphere. It exposes how photography serves as a tool in the hands of institutional power systems that are based on oppressive aspects, and how these systems regulate photography, organizing and managing it according to strict rules and regulations. |
Made Public examines the collection of photographs of Palestinians and about Palestinians -with whom the state of Israel is in a long conflict – collected in military photography archives in Israel. The military photographic information about the Palestinians is based on a multiplicity of power relations, from the way information was collected from army units, organizations, individuals or other archives (plunder, looting; secret and forbidden duplicating of material from other archives; and intelligence gathering by various means, etcetera) to the way the archives are managed (censorship and restricted viewing and use). Made Public indicates that Palestinian material collected initially for purposes of surveillance, control and conquest can change their functionality over time in a way that is sometimes contradictory to the formal aims of the archive. It also enables a discussion about the ambiguous role of archive in conflict areas.
|To Jeu de Paume web site|
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|Unknown photographer, Al-Najda Organization in the village Zalcha, late 1947.
Material looted from the office of Rashid Haj Ibrahim, Head of the National Committee, Haifa
IDF and Ministry of Defense Archive. According to the archive, “since November 2002 an opinion by the attorney general to allow the use of seized material in archive files” is in effect.
|Palmach Squadron together with the Technical Department, AlKubeb, 1947,
Aerial Photograph. The photograph was taken and created for surveillance and conquest purposes pre 1948 war. The photograph was received from Hillel Birger