In this talk, artist Eman Haram discusses her research journey, which focuses on the colonial occupation of Palestine through the city of Jaffa, with its port and groves considered leading interests. Eman’s work attempts to uncover the missing link behind the rush to control the land of Palestine and its oranges. The artist will also explore the questions, research phases, and documentation process of her project Mother of Oranges, Jaffa, currently on display at Darat al Funun, as part of the group exhibition Re-rooting. The talk will be in Arabic and English.
In 1880, the American counselor staff of Jaffa estimated over 800,000 citrus trees within the city and its environs. The fruit crop reached a peak in the first quarter of the 20th century, making Palestine the second exporter of citrus in the world after Spain, with the chief horticultural officer of the British Mandate in Palestine reporting to his government that “every endeavor must be made to retain and enhance the greatest asset the country possesses.”
Palestine at large was being studied, surveyed, and reported about for its natural resources and agricultural bounty well before WWI. Jaffa, in particular, was a strategic port city on the Eastern Mediterranean. Considered the “gateway to the Levant” and within very close proximity to Egypt and the Suez Canal, the city was in the crosshairs of colonial powers preparing to pounce after the partition of Ottoman lands.
Eman Haram is a Palestinian Canadian interdisciplinary artist whose practice is centered around the photographic image as the primary vector for her research. Archival photographs have become the pivot and catalyst for her inquiry in the past decade. By engaging in deep reading of these visual documents; responding to them, intervening with or supporting them with other forms of research (textual, ephemera, audio, among others), she aims to shed light on untold histories, erased or concealed by colonial and settler colonial machinations of plunder and dispossession. Her work has been presented in solo and group events, including Darat Al Funun, Amman Image Festival; Dar Al Kalima, Palestine; Contemporary Istanbul; CasaArabe, Madrid; Oboro New Media Lab; Darling Foundry, Montreal; Aleppo 8th. International Women’s festival, among others. Haram completed her studies in Architecture and Art History. She currently lives between Montreal and Amman.