“Sunday, 18 December 1917, Field Marshall Allenby entered Jerusalem in a great military ceremony, marking the official victory and the conquest of Jerusalem... I still recall this great day, when he entered the Jaffa Gate.” Wasif Jawhariyyeh
The multimedia installation Bawabet Yafa questions the notion of heritage and memory in Palestine by looking into the space of the Jaffa Gate through the lens of early photography in Palestine and the lively memories of Wasif Jawhariyyeh. This narrative tells an alternative story of the relationship between the material past and the national imagination that takes future generations into account and shows that the built environment, although not recognized as heritage, was part of the spatial discourse related to knowledge production about past events (in the future). Bawabet Yafa makes it possible to speculate, “What would have happened if Jawhariyyeh had kicked Ashbee’s* butt?”
*Charles Robert Ashbee was the appointed civic adviser to the British Mandate of Palestine and responsible for removing the clock tower of the Jaffa Gate. Wasif Jawhariyyeh was his secretary.
4 min · Black/White · Videoinstallation
Khaldun Bshara, born in 1972 in Palestine, is an architect, restorer, and anthropologist who lives and works in Ramallah. He is the Director of Riwaq Centre in Ramallah, where he has worked since 1994. Bshara has carried out many architectural design and restoration projects and is the author of a number of books and articles. Bshara’s work explores the relation between space and identity formation. Particularly, he is interested in margins, peripheries, or liminal spaces that challenge grand identity narratives and grand theories on space.