Featuring: Dorit Naaman, Mona Hajjar Halaby, Anwar Ben Badis
Language: English and Arabic with English subtitles
Runtime: 120 minutes
GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE
Dorit Naaman / Director
An Israeli-Canadian professor in the Queen’s Film and Media department, Dorit Naaman was staying in an apartment in an old Palestinian home in the south-central Jersualem neighbourhood of Katamon in 2008 when she realized she didn’t know anything about the history of the house she was renting. Along with the subsequent discovery of a decades-old hand-drawn map, this revelation led to the creation of JERUSALEM, WE ARE HERE, an extraordinary interactive documentary that integrates a virtual walking tour of Katamon with short films in which many of the neighbourhood’s former Palestinian residents recount their experiences of this place. While shedding a light on the past by giving a voice to the families who were expelled, Naaman also finds an innovative way to pose vital questions about the present and the future.
Together we produced short, poetic videos, filled with nostalgia, sorrow, and fleeting returns. The films are embedded into a virtual tour, where the audience – in Amman, Cairo, Jerusalem, Paris, Toronto and beyond – can “walk” down the streets of Katamon as these were filmed in 2012-2015. As we meander down the streets of contemporary Jerusalem, our soundscape is of the 1940s; and when we reach the home of each participant, we can watch the video/audio produced. As the generation of Palestinians who survived the Nakba (the 1948 catastrophe) is aging and passing on, there is an urgent need to collect their stories and knowledge, and remap the space that has been declared entirely Israeli. When people flee war, they rarely take with them their photo albums or documents or the art off the walls. In Remapping Katamon, the map side of Jerusalem, We Are Here, we will continue to organically and communally remap the neighbourhood, house by house.