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A street in south Beirut where the entrance to the camp is located, with a couple of Palestine flags overhead © Al Jazeera English (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Entrance to the Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp in southern Beirut, the setting for a number of films and documentaries

Project led by Dr Anne Irfan, Lecturer in Forced Migration, 2019-2021 (now Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Race, Gender and Postcolonial Studies, UCL)

There is a long history of Palestinian refugees’ creative resistance to political oppression, yet scholarship on the subject is often fragmented. This project takes a new and original approach in exploring the art of resistance through Palestinian refugee cinema across time and space. Comparatively examining practices of filmmaking across refugee camps in the West Bank and Lebanon, this research explores how Palestinians have employed cinema to create a narrative of resistance that engenders international solidarity. In so doing, it speaks to the increasing emphasis in Refugee Studies on centralising refugees’ agency in narrating their own stories; it also engages with scholarly debates around defining resistance. The ultimate aim is to develop a new framework to reshape scholarly understandings of the Palestinian sphere, resistance, protracted displacement, internationalism, and the role of art in refugee politics.

External collaborator

Dr Muhammad Hamdan, An-Najah University, Palestine