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Witnessing as Worldbuilding in Palestinian Visual Culture
Fellow Talk: Kareem Estefan

Tuesday 23 November 2021
6:00 pm Amman Time

In this talk, writer Kareem Estefan shares key elements of the research he has conducted on Palestinian visual culture as a 2020-21 Darat al Funun Dissertation Fellow, focusing on the videos of Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme as a case study. Kareem's dissertation, “Witnessing as Worldbuilding: Imagining Decolonization in Palestinian Visual Culture After 1982,” examines the practices of contemporary Palestinian artists and filmmakers who speculate about potential histories and decolonized futures, refusing the humanitarian injunction to produce “visual evidence” of victimized subjects. In addition to presenting his dissertation research, Kareem will discuss how its themes intersect with the Darat al Funun talk series he curated as the public component of his fellowship, "Worldbuilding in the Wake." The program examined practices of ecological repair and decolonization in the wake of imperial violence, featuring artists, writers, and scholars who are imagining worlds beyond the economic and political systems that have endangered the diversity of forms of life on this planet. Kareem will be joined in conversation with writer,  and Darat al Funun’ cultural consultant, Yazan Ashqar.

Kareem Estefan is a writer, editor, and Ph.D. candidate in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, completing a dissertation on witnessing and worldbuilding in contemporary Palestinian visual culture. Kareem’s writing has appeared in publications including 4 Columns, Art in America, Artforum, BOMB, Frieze, Ibraaz,  Journal of Palestine Studies, Journal of Visual Culture, Third Text, and World Records. He is co-editor of Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production (OR Books, 2017), an anthology of essays on boycott campaigns, transnational solidarities, and (self-)censorship in the arts. He is the recipient of a 2020-2021 Darat al Funun Dissertation Fellowship and a 2021-2022 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship. He is also co-chair of the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS). Kareem holds an MFA in Art Criticism and Writing from SVA and a BA in Comparative Literature from New York University.

The talk will be in English.

Image: Still from Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents: Unforgiving Years (Part 2), 2012-2015.