Session 4: Representation and Erasure, Short Papers , , , ,

Restoration of erased landscapes, Counter-mapping and memory Activism: The Case of Zochrot’s Nakba Maps

Orna Vaadia
Ben-Gurion University

This paper examines the ways in which civic organization uses counter-mapping and memory activism to restore the erased landscape and the silenced history, within transitional justice proses, in ongoing conflict situations. Counter-mapping and memory activism are practices that seek to challenge the hegemonic perception of space, the hegemonic modes of commemoration and the collective space memory construction. Relying on the assumption that each technology enables the production of different forms of knowledge, which in turn, represents and constructs different ideas and different political relations, this paper will examine the Nakba maps: the printed map, the interactive map, and the navigation app- iNakba, produced by Zochrot. Zochrot (Hebrew word for “remembering”) is an Israeli NGO operating to promote the responsibility to the Palestinian Nakba among the Jewish public in Israel and to realize the Palestinian refugees’ right of return. The ‘Nakba’ refers to the results of the 1948 war and it stand for ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic. The Israeli and Palestinian narratives of the 1948 war constructs conflicting narratives. In light of this, the discussion of Zochrot’s Nakba maps will trace the spatial modes of representation provided by the different mapping technologies, the way they define the memory discourse in which the map seeks to operate and the ways of commemoration that they offer to each memory community.