National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens
Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948 Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages which were Destroyed

Emily Jacir

Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages which were Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948


The work is displayed as part of the permanent exhibition

Sculpture/ 3D object

A work in progress consisting of a refugee tent and embroidery thread, mixed media and a record book
Variable dimensions
Purchased in 2004
Inv. No. 514/04

An artist and activist, Emily Jacir investigates unknown historical narratives, and the influence of information on the shaping of collective memory. Following a conceptual approach, her works (photos, videos, installations and performances) are often based on multi-year interdisciplinary research, and raise socio-political issues such as the movement and displacement of populations, borders and boundaries, loss and resistance, with particular reference to the Palestinian question. Her work Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages which were Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948, 2001, which was realized during a residency in New York, consists of a refugee tent on which the artist had the names of 418 Palestinians villages embroidered. These villages are mentioned in Walid Khalidi’s book All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948; the villages were completely wiped out in 1948, year of foundation of the State of Israel, and also, the year when the devastation of the Palestinian territories followed by the forced displacement of the local populations —the so-called Nakba— began. Jacir stencilled all the village names in English, and then asked people to embroider them. Over a period of almost three months, more than 140 volunteers from different countries —including Palestinians and Israelis alike— paid a visit to Jacir’s studio to embroider, argue, sing, remember, and learn. The political message is eloquent and clear. The work’s title itself has been carefully selected so as to offer the desired emphasis, while not allowing any room for misinterpretation, embellishment or exoticism.
Anna Mykoniati, text from the catalogue of the permanent exhibition ENTER EMSΤ. Collection & History, A short guide, 2020

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