A talk by Esmail Nashif (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev).
This presentation will try to trace the complex interrelations that have developed in the Palestinian context since the 1948 Nakba, between the cultural and political domains. While this issue may be approached from various angles - with regard to the individuals working in these fields or their cultural and political artifacts - I shall explore these interrelations on the institutional level. The choice of this angle of analysis has to do, I contend, with the recent developments in the cultural and political domains themselves.
Since the early 1990s, a growing number of cultural institutions have been operating independently from those of a political nature. Whether in art, music, theatre, film, dance, or any other cultural sub-domain, they operate according to a certain cultural production logic, which demarcates them as a social field in and for itself. For example, if in the previous era of the Palestinian national liberation movements, an art exhibition or concert was attached to a political event and was not a social event in itself, one notices nowadays that they are social events. This is not to argue that the political institutions and their logics are irrelevant to understanding how Palestinian collectivities operate. Rather, the presentation will try to problematize these developments and explicate the intricate inter-dynamics of the cultural and the political spheres in Palestinian society today.