Gaza Unreleased

Scientific and cultural international days – 21 March 2016 – Paris/Marseille

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Despite the blockade and more than eight years of repeated assaults, the Gaza Strip continues to survive, live and create. A small piece of land in the middle of a tormented region, Gaza is an essential part of Palestine’s future, with social-cultural dynamics, as well as resistance strategies, which are its own. Central to the Palestinian national question and the evolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gaza is also crucial to understanding a number of issues which Arab and Muslim societies are confronted with.

This conference will present recent works on the Gaza Strip and the scientific issues they raise, such as methodological concerns related to the production of knowledge in a war zone, restrictions of access to the field and the closing of borders. The increasing marginalization of the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants, whose relationships to the outside have been cut off, have impeded knowledge of a particularly rich social, political and cultural history. The closure of Gaza has made fieldwork studies almost impossible, hence impeding the production of knowledge on the contemporary period, as well as policy planning.

The event, a debate gathering actors from Gazan civil society, round tables and conferences dedicated to art and culture, will bear witness to the great artistic and civil vitality found in the Gaza Strip. It will therefore highlight Gaza’s emergent cultural scenes and the role increasingly played by the media and social networks, contrarily to simplistic images often conveyed. Through their images and words, these artists’ messages resonate beyond borders. They reveal their native land under another light, despite the constrained conditions of creation and circulation.

Gaza Unreleased will bring together for 4 days in Paris and Marseille contributors from different backgrounds: researchers (archaeologists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, economists) but also journalists, diplomats, artists, humanitarian workers, committed citizens from Gaza, the West Bank, France, Europe, United States…

Scientific coordinators: Stéphanie Latte Abdallah and Marion Slitine