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Call for Stories: Independent Documentary Searching for Love Stories from Pre-1948 Palestine

[Palestinian couple in 1950s Beirut. This image is being used with permission of the owner. All rights reserved.] [Palestinian couple in 1950s Beirut. This image is being used with permission of the owner. All rights reserved.]

Call for Stories: Independent Documentary Searching for Love Stories from Pre-1948 Palestine

I am presently conducting research for a new documentary film. The film is a journey in search of love stories set against the tumultuous changes of early twentieth-century Palestine. It unravels a different geography of love and belonging across generations. Therefore, I am looking for love stories from Palestine from the early 1900s through 1950s. Love stories lived by Palestinians, or those in Palestine and the surrounding countries during that time. I am looking particularly for love stories that break taboos, cross borders (geographic, social, religious, and such); love stories that are bitter or sweet, innocent or passionate, that take us on an adventure into a different time and place.

At a time when revolutions are spreading across the Arab world and there is a popular desire to imagine a different kind of society and region, I am reaching back into our past, to the years between the late Ottoman Empire and the end of the British mandate in pre-1948 Palestine, to imagine the possibilities that could have been, that can still be.

Film Synopsis

The film will explore the first half of the twentieth century (i.e., the 1900s) through the intimate lives of ordinary people who lived through sweeping historical events. Through the lens of love stories that originate from Palestine and spiral beyond, the film engages with a time and place when borders and identities were not as defined and rigid as they are today. Moving between characters in the past and the present, the film meshes together an intergenerational thread that binds us together. Stories that in their (re)telling also connect us to the historical and social forces at play, and how people fought against injustice, as well as found love and belonging.

If you know of a love story (in your family or beyond), or a contact who might be able to lead me to stories, please let me know. Some members of that generation have passed away, but the stories can be passed down as I am also interested in the act of storytelling.

Thanks so much,

Dahna Abourahme

E-mail: palestinelovestories@gmail.com

[Click here for the Arabic version of this call for stories.]

[Click here to read a review of Dahna Abourahme's last film.]

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Vox Populi features popular artistic and aesthetic expressions that emanate from the Middle East. It seeks to highlight silenced, underrepresented, and/or subversive cultural forms and conduits while challenging hegemonic and mainstream cultural production and narratives about the region. This is accomplished by exploring the actual conditions of reception and consumption of cultural products among popular cultures in the Middle East as they relate to questions of inequality, power, and difference. In addition to showcasing the independent work of ordinary citizens and groups, the page aims to capture new and changing forms, spaces, and avenues of political and social transformations. Through interviews, analysis, individual and institutional profiles, video snippets, films, music videos, and visual and street art, Vox Populi communicates and showcases important trends about/from the region that are often left out in what is otherwise serious analytical treatments.

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