The Chronotope of Refugee Return
By: Yehouda Shenhav
08/2011
The Chronotop of Refugee Return, Sedek 6 // Osnat Bar-Or

Mahmoud al-Rimawi’s short story, “A Longing for the Good Land,” and three projects included here – Sandy Halal, Alessandro Pati and Eyal Weizman’s “Present Returns: Al Feneiq in Miska” of Decolonizing Architecture, Hana Farah Kufr-Bir’im’s “Re:Form-a Model,” and Einat Manoff’s Counter-Mapping Workshop with Jewish and Palestinian activists – invite a reconsideration of the “nakba” and the “return,” the connection between them, and their combined relationship to history and politics. These texts are the starting point for a discussion leading toward a revised political model of “return,” one that is not subordinated to the utopian modernist narrative that could be called “from destruction to redemption.” In order to formulate a political model of return, we must first begin to think theoretically about the “time” and the “space” of the nakba and the return, as well as about their political basis. These are the fundamentals of the discussion that follows.

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