Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba

Regular price $ 39.95

Edited by Teresa Aranguren and Sandra Barrilaro

Haymarket Books

2/20/2024, hardcover

SKU: 9781642599800


A unique, stunning collection of images of Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a testament to the vibrancy of Palestinian society prior to occupation.

This book tells the story, in both English and Arabic, of a land full of people--people with families, hopes, dreams, and a deep connection to their home--before Israel's establishment in 1948, known to Palestinians as the Nakba, or "catastrophe." Denying Palestinian existence has been a fundamental premise of Zionism, which has sought not only to hide this existence but also to erase its memory. But existence leaves traces, and the imprint of the Palestine that was remains, even in the absence of those expelled from their lands. It appears in the ruins of a village whose name no longer appears in the maps, in the drawing of a lost landscape, in the lyrics of a song, or in the photographs from a family album.

Co-edited by Teresa Aranguren and Sandra Barrilaro and featuring a foreword by Mohammed El-Kurd, the photographs in this book are traces of that existence that have not been erased. They are testament not to nostalgia, but to the power of resistance.




"At a time of an unfolding Israeli genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, enabled as much by racist, dehumanizing propaganda as by Western arms, funds and colonial complicity, it is more important than ever to always remember to see the human behind the number, the oppression behind the violence, and the complicity behind the genocide. This precious book shares a glimpse of Palestinian lives prior to the Nakba, the initial destruction of our beautiful homeland to project an image of a "desert" that needs a white colonial settler to make it bloom. In the face of this excruciatingly painful phase of our ongoing Nakba of ruthless, inherently supremacist settler-colonial conquest, celebrating our heritage, our cultural roots, our love for life, for freedom, for justice becomes more necessary than ever. This book helps us do so." -- Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights

"We live in a moment when Palestinian life is being ruthlessly dehumanized in the service of a looming genocide. A critical defense of humanity amidst this atrocity is the constant assertion that these are a people who had a culture and a land before it was violently stolen. Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba, is not only beautiful and heart wrenching; it is a political reminder that we are fighting not only with Palestinian life but against an erasure of their entire history." --Dave Zirin, Sports Editor, The Nation Magazine, author of A People's History of Sports in the United States and The Kaepernick Effect

About the Contributors:


Teresa Aranguren is a journalist based in Spain. In 1982, she covered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon as a correspondent for Mundo Obrero (Workers World), has worked for a number of Spanish publications, covering the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the Gulf Wars, and since 1989 has been the Middle East correspondent for Telemadrid. Aranguren is the author of Palestina: El hilo de la memoria (Palestine: The Thread of Memory) and Olivo Roto: Escenas de la ocupación (Broken Olive Tree: Scenes from the Occupation).

Sandra Barrilaro is a Spanish photographer and activist. She has been a speaker at the Palestinian Educational Cultural Forum, and participated in the Women's Boat to Gaza flotilla in 2016. Barrilaro's work on Palestine has been exhibited widely under the title "Palestine, A Look at Injustice," and she is currently working on several projects about Palestine.

Mohammed El-Kurd is an internationally-touring poet and writer from Jerusalem, Palestine. His work has been featured in The Guardian, The Nation, This Week In PalestineAl-Jazeera English, and the forthcoming Vacuuming Away Fire anthology, among others. Mohammed graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Writing, where he created Radical Blankets, an award-winning multimedia poetry magazine. He is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Poetry from Brooklyn College. His poetry-oud album, Bellydancing On Wounds, was released in collaboration with Palestinian musical artist Clarissa Bitar. Apart from poetry and writing, el-Kurd is a visual artist, printmaker, and most recently, co-designer of a fashion collection with Serbian designer Tina Gancev. Mohammed has spent his undergraduate weekends performing poetry at campuses and cultural centers across the United States and hopes to continue in the post-COVID-19 era.