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Apr 8, 2024


Introductory Remarks by Professor Frances Hasso (@nasawiyya)


"Queer Threads: Activist Fashion in Palestine"
Roberto Filippello, University of Amsterdam

In this presentation I sketch the contours of the formation of an activist fashion scene across Palestine in the face of material challenges that the infrastructures of the occupation pose to the production and circulation of clothes. I theorize the creative practices of Palestinian fashion designers and image-makers as makeshift acts of collective disidentification with the ecocidal, racist, and queerphobic Zionist enterprise, and argue that “queer decolonial fashion practices” offer a model of creative activism wherein environmental ethics, anti-racism, and queer claims are fundamentally interconnected. Conjoining Gramscian analytical categories and queer epistemologies from the South, I highlight how sartorial praxis and embodiment figure in the imagination of Palestinian youth. (25 minutes)

Laboratories of Speculation: Rethinking Jericho, ‘the City of the Moon’”
Ronak K. Kapadia, University of Illinois Chicago (via Zoom)

Critical queer feminist study has lovingly brought renewed methodological attention to long-forgotten, once-inhabited sites, archives, geographies, and histories, which can be newly reanimated for the service of contemporary collective social life. One such instance in present-day Palestine has been the international art, writing, and research residency called el-Atlal (“The Ruins”) co-founded by Karim Kattan, Victoria Dabdoub, Rebecca Topakian, Céleste Haller from 2014-2019 in the town of Jericho, the “oldest city in the world.” Given its historical heritage and complex station in the local imagination, Jericho is a generative utopian site for enacting new incubatory spaces for alternative political and aesthetic possibility in the dystopian here and now. If Palestine, and the Palestinian people subject to Israeli rule, have long served as one of the foremost paradigmatic “laboratories” for the development of late modern settler security states and their fabrication of new technologies of policing, maiming, and killing perfected on Palestinians under siege, this talk explores how we might reimagine an archetypal “Palestine” instead as an experimental site of decolonial fantasy and creative freedom, one that also portends the ends of the conjoined US/Israeli settler security states and their forever wars on terror. (25 minutes)


Art credit: 

"Untitled 2022" by Heba Zaqout, artist and fine arts teacher, martyred 13 October 2023 with two of her children in Gaza.