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Ground Truth:
Testimonies of Dispossession, Destruction and Return in the Naqab/Negev
Al-Araqib, January 1-2, 2016

Exhibition | Launching: The Conflict Shoreline (Babel Publication) | Launching: Zochrot’s Truth Commission Report | Aerial Photography Workshop | Histroical docuemnts collection

Zochrot and the inhabitants of Al-Araqib and the Forensic Architecture project at Goldsmiths, University of London are pleased to invite you to a gathering at the village of Al-‛Araqib in the Naqab/Negev which will include the events of the final session of the Truth Commission for the Events of 1948-1960 in the South. The events will be held in two tents built especially onsite.
Given the recent and ongoing rejection of the Bedouins’ legal claims and the recurring brutal destruction of “unrecognized villages” such as Al-Araqib, we will examine the conditions for the production of truth in a neocolonial age through oral testimonies and memories, aerial photography, studies by Negev researchers and historical maps to offer an alternative conceptual horizon on civil society’s ability to re-appropriate its truth.

Curation and project management: Debby Farber together with Eyal Weizman

Tent planning: The inhabitants of Al-Araqib together with Sharon Rotbard

Aerial photography workshop: Hagit Keysar, Ariel Ken, Mickey Kratzman

The project is a collaboration with Sheikh Siah Al-Turi, Aziz Al-Turi, Salim Al-Araqib, Ahmad Khalil Abu-Madighem, Awad Abu-Farih, Nuri Al-Uqbi and all the inhabitants of Al-Araqib. We also thank Zochrot’s Umar Al-Ghubari and Prof. Oren Yiftachel for their support.


////Friday, January 1st 11:00-17:00////

Aerial Photography Workshop*

Historical aerial photographs are a key tool used by the inhabitants of Al-Araqib and other so-called “unrecognized villages” in danger of destruction to produce evidence and claim their land rights. Nevertheless, creating aerial photographs and maps requires professional tools and knowledge that are usually unavailable to those who need them to fight for their rights. During the two days of the gathering, we will document Al-Araqib from the air and from the ground in order to produce evidence for their presence on the ground using aerial photographs and 3D models, together with children and adults. The workshop will be facilitated by researcher and activist Hagit Keysar and artist Ariel Ken.

* Please bring your digital cameras/smartphones to the workshop

Collecting evidence towards the creation of an online visual-historical archive of Al-Araqib.

We invite the inhabitants of Al-Araqib to present historical and contemporary documents attesting to the Bedouin permanent settlement of the Naqeb/Negev, including: maps, land transactions, receipts and confirmations of land tax payments, family photos, aerial photos, bills of sale, official correspondence, military orders, voter certificates and any other relevant document. These will be documented by photographer Micky Kartzman and collected for the digital archive.


////Saturday, January 2, 10:00-15:30////

10:00-10:15 Greetings and opening address: Sheikh Siah Al-Turi, Nuri Al-Uqbi

10:15-13:00 Launching of The Conflict Shoreline by Eyal Weizman (Babel Publication)

Opening remarks: Eyal Weizman, Debby Farber
Panelists: Prof. Oren Yiftachel, Prof. Neve Gordon, Adv. Smadar Ben-Natan, Ranad Shaqirat, Dr. Safa Abu-Rabia, Micky Kartzman, Dr. Awad Abu-Farih
Respondent: Eyal Weizman
Facilitated by Debby Farber

13:00-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:30 Launching of the Truth Commission report

Opening address by Jessica Nevo, Zochrot: Transitional Justice and No Transition?

Truth Commission: from Imagination to Reality The first Truth Commission in Israel: Dilemmas, Findings and Recommendations

Eyal Weizman: The Bedouin Nakba

Members of the Truth Commission: The Presence and Absence of Women in Transitional Justice Processes – Recommendations for Future Commissions

Ami Asher, Zochrot: Circles of Silence – Silencing Regime: On the Difficulties in Collecting Testimonies by Jewish Fighters in 1948

Einat Weizman: The Truth Commission One on One – documentary theater performance


On Friday, January 1, participants are requested to arrive at the village independently. We recommend using Zochrot’s iNakba application for iPhones and Android phones, download for free here. When driving south on Highway 40, the village is located 3km after Lehavim Junction. Turn right on a dirt road near milestone no. 197.

On Saturday, January 2, at 8:30 a bus will leave for the village from Train Station Center (Arlozorov) in Tel Aviv. Estimated return to Tel Aviv – 17:00. Please register in advance at raneen@zochrot.org.

*All events will be held in Hebrew and Arabic
** Please dress warm
*** No lodging in the village is available. You can stay overnight in Beersheba or nearby kibbutzim.
**** For inquiries and further details, please contact Debby at debby@zochrot.org

***** Mobile for arrival instructions to the village: 052-8743099