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More Spatial High Jinks 3: The Forests of Isratine and Palesrael
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin

“Around Jerusalem,” write Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin in Chicago, “acres of pine forest are used as popular family picnic spots. On the weekends they fill up with cars, people, pets, barbecues. But in the early mornings, just after dawn, the forests are completely silent, serene and untainted, giving the impression of timeless landscapes in which trees have been standing forever.”

But this apparent natural wilderness is a carefully constructed scene, as “many of these forests have been systematically planted on the expropriated land of Arab villages, which were forcibly evacuated and deliberately destroyed in 1948. It was not only sandy desert that was forested, but also cultivated olive groves and rural villages, the underlying intention being to obscure the locations of these villages so as to prevent any further cultivaton or re-settlement of the land by non-Jews.”

“These are places of erasure and amnesia.”

  • ryan
  • June 7, 2009 at 1:26:00 PM CDT
  • A B Yehoshua has an interesting short story set in one of these forests. I can't remember the name of the story, but it's in The Continuing Silence of a Poet.

  • Anonymous
  • June 9, 2009 at 11:56:00 PM CDT
  • The name of the story is 'mool hayearot' in Hebrew, literally translated as-"in front of the forests". Noga Kadman has recently published an excellent book: ‘Erased from Space and Consciousness: Depopulated Palestinian Villages in the Israeli-Zionist Discourse’. November books 2008. It is in Hebrew and is based on her Masters thesis that she wrote in English.
    For anyone interested to learn further about this amnesia check out the zochrot website

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