Kamal al-Ja’fari’s archival-visual project traces the trail of the erased city of Yaffa through dozens of popular Israeli and Hollywood films shot there between the 1960s and 90s. With surgical precision, al-Ja’fari has chosen to remove and exclude the characters appearing in the films and extricate their images’ Barthes punctum – that elusive residue which somehow found its way into the image, not intentionally included by the photographer or cinematographer, which “injures” and upsets the viewer.
What are those residues? They are the depopulated ghostly streets, the ruins, the neglect, the broken sidewalks and ramshackle buildings – all signs of Yaffa’s ongoing destruction since 1948. They are also the human figures, left nameless and desubjectified in the films – Palestinians who have managed to remain in Yaffa despite the deportation, or have managed to return it. The city’s deceptive image of harmonious heterogeneity, used as the films’ orientalist setting, is thereby fractured and shattered by these residues, these leftovers that produce an alternative timeframe protesting the Palestinians’ exclusion out of history.
The exhibition was presented in a house on 23 Shivtey Israel street, Yaffa in the frame of the project "Houses beyond the Hyphen"