In 2014, members of Librarians and Archivists with Palestine worked with the art book house Booklyn to create a box set of art objects made upon our return from the 2013 delegation. As Booklyn notes, this box set “was designed as a way to document the Palestine trip and share some of what was learned, as well as to include publications and other material rarely seen outside of Palestine.” For more details, check out Booklyn’s site.
Copies of the box set are available on loan to librarians and organizations interested in exhibiting the materials (full list of contents below). If you are interested in exhibiting or purchasing the box set, please email librarians2palestine[at]gmail[dot]com.
The box set is held by the following institutions:
The British Library
College of Saint Benedict; St. John’s University
Franklin and Marshall College
Harvard University, Widener Library
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries
The New York Public Library
Smith College, Mortimer Rare Book Room
Stanford University Libraries
Tamer Institute for Community Education
University of California at Irvine
University of California at San Diego
University of Connecticut
University of San Diego
University of Toronto
Yale University; Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
BOX SET CONTENTS
8 fine art screen prints:
DS128.4, Josh MacPhee, 18 x 11.5 inches, 2014
There Was No Farewell, Molly Fair, 2014, 18.5 x 12 inches, 2014
Umm (Mother), Molly Fair, 18.5 x 12 inches, 2014
Kites Over Palestine, Molly Fair, 18.5 x 12 inches, 2014
Qalandiya Checkpoint, Bronwen Densmore, 18.5 x 12.5 inches, 2014
Open Shuhada Street, Josh MacPhee, 18 x 11.5 inches, 2014
BDS Megaphone, Rachel Mattson, 18.5 x 12 inches, 2014
Stay Human, Bekezela Mguni and Leslie Stem, 21 x 16.5 inches, 2014
6 digital photo prints:
Nabi Saleh, Andrea Miller-Nesbitt, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
Orient House, Maggie Schreiner, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
Prisoners’ Collection, Nablus Public Library, Molly Fair, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
Aida Refugee Camp, Maggie Schreiner, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
Stones in Saffourieh, Maggie Schreiner, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
Madaa Silwan Creative Center, Molly Fair, 8 x 10 inches , 2013
6 zines, various dimensions:
Overdue Books: Returning Palestine’s ‘Abandoned Property’ of 1948, Hannah Mermelstein, 8.5 x 5.5 inches, 18 pages, 2014
Through narrative, photographs, and analysis, this zine tells the story of privately-owned Palestinian books that were taken by Israel and now reside in Israel’s National Library, with no acknowledgement of former ownership or attempt to return the books. Hannah describes a handful of books that she studied for identifying information (names, dedications, book stamps), looks at the return of Nazi-looted Jewish material as a model, and offers suggestions for next steps and further resources.
Handala, Josh MacPhee, 5.5 x 4.25 inches, 31 pages, 2014
One of the most universally popular symbols amongst Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, within 1948-borders Israel, in refugee camps, and in the diaspora is the cartoon image of Handala. The only image more likely to be seen is the Palestinian flag. Handala is a young Palestinian refugee, tattered and backturned, refusing to grow-up until he can return to his homeland. He is seen as a symbol of popular defiance, and appears in graffiti, on t-shirts, key chains, car decals, and in shop windows. Handala was created by Naji al-Ali, a Palestinian cartoonist who was exiled in 1948 (at age 10), and murdered in 1987.
Human Geography in Nablus, ‘Mountain of Fire,’ Melissa Morrone, with photos by various delegates, 4.25 x 5.5 inches, 14 pages, 2014
This zine pairs the original text of an essay written by Brooklyn librarian and LAP delegate Melissa Morrone with photographs taken by librarian and archivist delegates in the city of Nablus. The zine walks the reader through several sites and conversations from the trip, including the Nablus Public Library and its collection of prisoners’ books and notebooks; the old city; Balata refugee camp; and a dinner with geographer and activist Saed Abu Hijleh. Designed by Vani Natarajan.
Prisoners’ Books at the Nablus Public Library, Maggie Schreiner, 5.5 x 4.25 inches, 14 pages, 2014
This zine discusses a collection of prisoners books and notebooks currently held by the Nablus Municipal Public Library. The collection combines the libraries of two prisons that were closed during the 1990s. The books speak to the intellectual and cultural interests of Palestinian prisoners and the role of education in the struggle against the Israeli occupation. Current access to books for Palestinian prisoners is also discussed.
Wall: Palestine, Josh MacPhee with various delegates, 8.5 x 7 inches, 47 pages, 2014
This zine is a collection of photographs of walls taken across cities in the West Bank and Israel from June 23-July 4, 2013. Walls play a complicated roll in Palestine. While urban walls are a popular site of much communication between both individuals and political factions, they sit in the shadow of THE wall, the giant Apartheid Wall that Israel has built around the West Bank and Gaza. That wall is also covered with graffiti and messaging, although there is debate amongst Palestinians about the efficacy of decorating it. Some feel it is best left blank, the giant sheets of concrete saying far more about Israel and its policies than any graffiti ever could. The artists of almost all of the graffiti and murals are unknown. Designed by Josh MacPhee with photos from librarian and archivist delegation members.
The ABCs of Occupation & Resistance, Rachel Mattson, 8.5 x 5.5, 18 pages, 2014
This zine is an alphabetic intervention. Letter by letter, it offers a primer in the legal, military, & bureaucratic details of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the resistance that Palestinians and their allies are waging against it.
Librarians and Archivists to Palestine: Map of Places We Visited, Vani Natarajan and Bronwen Densmore, xerox, 8.5 x 11 inches, 2014
This map visualizes the itinerary of the librarians’ and archivists’ travels through cities, villages, and refugee camps in the West Bank and ’48 territories in a single-page, foldout format. Map shows sites paired with hand drawings, with descriptive text on the reverse-side panels.
Catalog Cards, Vani Natarajan, digital print on card stock, 2014
“Catalog Cards” revisits an analog form familiar to many librarians and library lovers. Each card in the 16-piece set covers a work of literature, film, or music by a Palestinian artist, with original type done on an IBM Wheelwriter electric typewriter.
“Palestinian Kitchen” potholders, Hannah Mermelstein, digital print on cloth, hand-sewn, 8 x 8 inches
Potholders with recipe printed on one side from the “Palestinian Kitchen,” a cookbook compiled by the women’s group at the Madaa Creative Center in Silwan. The cookbook is a project to celebrate and preserve Palestinian heritage. Our delegation got copies of the book when we visited Madaa Creative Center and the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, where residents of the neighborhood create grassroots media about the settler violence they experience on a daily basis.
My First Book, Tamer Institute, various years and dimensions
Children’s book published by the Tamer Institute for Community Education, as part of their annual “My First Book” contest. Written and illustrated by children.
USB drive with the following digital information:
Issue of The Bulletin (Vol. 33, No. 2, December 2013) featuring A Report on the Librarians and Archivists to Palestine Delegation, June 23-July 4, 2013 by Blair Kuntz (PDF)
Issue of the Feliciter (Vol. 59, No. 6, December 2013) featuring Librarians and Archivists to Palestine by Andrea Miller-Nesbitt and Maggie Schreiner (PDF)
Excerpt from Jerusalem Quarterly (Vol. 43, Autumn 2011) featuring Overdue Books: Returning Palestine’s Abandoned Property of 1948 by Hannah Mermelstein (PDF)
KCSB interview with Molly Fair and Vani Natarajan – July 24, 2013 (MP3)
CKUT Montreal interview with Maggie Schreiner and Andrea Miller-Nesbitt – August 22, 2013
WBAI Asia Pacific Forum interview with Maggie Schreiner and Vani Natarajan – October 28, 2013 (MP3)
130 images (JPG) with captions / descriptions (PDF)
This box set was supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and by Occuprint.
Published by Booklyn and LAP in Brooklyn, NY
Screenprints printed by Kevin Caplicki at the Brooklyn Print Lab
Translations by Mezna Qato, Blair Kuntz, and Hannah Mermelstein