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Blachnicka-Ciacek, Dominika
Publisher: Goldsmiths, University of London
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
This thesis is a qualitative investigation of memories of Palestine among exiled Palestinians\ud and their descendants in Poland and in the UK. Taking the continuous character of\ud Palestinian dispossession as a point of departure, it examines their modes of remembering,\ud imagining and relating to Palestine. The thesis seeks to contribute to the sociology of\ud diaspora by shedding light on the multiplicity of situated trajectories that shape diasporic\ud Palestinians’ relationships with their ‘ancestral’ homeland. It delineates three generations\ud of Palestinians in diaspora: those exiled in the 1948 and their descendants born in refugee\ud camps; those who left as a direct or indirect result of the occupation; and those born as\ud ‘second generation migrants’ in their parent’s countries of exile. It argues that while the\ud continuing erasure of Palestine informs all of their experiences, each generation produces\ud memories of ancestral homeland in relation to different geographies, temporalities and set\ud of imaginings. Tracing these differences, I am concerned with how the plurality of diasporic\ud memories allows generations of Palestinians to endure and constantly re-create their\ud relationships with the Palestine despite more than six decades of continuous uprooting.\ud \ud The research is based on oral history interviews with 33 Palestinians in Poland and the UK,\ud followed by an ethnographic audio-visual exploration of some of the research participants’\ud sites of memory. The audio-visual engagements have moved back and forth between stories\ud narrated in Poland and in the UK and site-specific field visits within today’s Israel and the\ud Occupied Palestinian Territories. The five ethnographic études that accompany the written\ud part of this thesis strive to restore, at least partially, access to context that was lost with the\ud participants’ uprooting and to explore the texture and materiality of their dispossession.\ud This approach contributes to the development of a multi-sensory methodology that seeks to\ud understand diasporic and exilic experiences by placing the relationship between memory,\ud time and place at the heart of sociological enquiry.
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