“The essay discusses one characteristic of colonial archives – how the ruling state plunders/loots the colonized archives and treasures and controls them in its colonial archives – erasing them from the public sphere by repressive means, censors and restricts their exposure and use, alters their original identity, regulates their contents and subjugates them to colonizer’s laws, rules and terminology. It focuses on two archives plundered by Israel in Beirut in 1980s: the Palestine Research Center and archive of Palestinian films. The essay continues my earlier research on Palestinian visual (and other) archives taken as booty or looted by pre-state Jewish military organizations and soldiers or civilians in the first half of the twentieth century, especially during the Nakba (the Palestinian catastrophe, 1948), and later by Israel’s military bodies. It analyzes the plunder itself while focusing on the power relations reflected toward the hybrid gazes of the colonizer and the colonized and discusses colonial features of military archives holding and controlling seized materials. While colonial museums have been largely discussed, and also archives holding colonial history, this is one of the first essays to discuss features of colonial archives holding plundered archives/material.”
Rona Sela (2017): The Genealogy of Colonial Plunder and Erasure – Israel’s Control over Palestinian Archives, Social Semiotics, DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2017.1291140
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2017.1291140
Published online: 03 Mar 2017.