The War of 1948: Representations of Israeli and Palestinian Memories and Narratives

By Avraham Sela; Alon Kadish | Go to book overview

7
Wa-Ma Nasayna (We Have Not
Forgotten)
Palestinian Collective Memory and the
Print Work of Abed Abdi

Tal Ben-Zvi


Introduction

Palestinian art created within Israel’s 1948 borders possesses unique characteristics deriving from its being part of the visual culture of the Palestinian minority in Israel. In this artistic-national construct, artist, graphic designer, and printmaker Abed Abdi played a leading role as a consequence of his work over the decade between 1972 and 1982 as graphics editor of the publications of the Communist Party and its successor, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality, the Arabic language journal Al-Ittihad, and the Al-Jadid literary journal. Additionally, many of his works were also published in the Communist Party’s Hebrew language paper, Zo Haderekh (This Is the Way), and in a variety of election and other posters for the Communist Party and the Democratic Front. The fact that Abdi often reused images he created in various contexts also reinforced the iconic status of many of his works.

The chapter focuses on the significant role in shaping the visual culture and collective memory of the Palestinian minority in Israel. “The art of print” is a term I employ to define the presentational space and practice of works of art printed in relatively large editions in the press, books, booklets, posters, and postcards. Although these works are often accompanied by political, journalistic, literary, and poetic texts, they are not illustrations per se but rather visual texts that are often of equal status to verbal ones. By means of this space and practice, the reproduced works gradually establish the visual culture of their target audience. Hence, they are an autonomous alternative presentational space and practice of works of art that played a most important role in shaping the national culture of all sections of the Palestinian people.

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