Revolutionary Letter #7 is dedicated to questions, conversations, recipes, songs, dances, gatherings, performances, plantings, and workshops. The title comes from a poem by Diana Di Prima written in 1971.
Revolutionary Letter #7 focuses on the politics of land, food, heritage and community. The project brings together local and international artists, farmers, neighbors, cooks, agricultural workers, activists, and the students and faculty of Al-Quds Bard College (AQB).
The program unfolds over a year-and-a-half at Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem. Originally built in the late 1880’s, the site now serves as a place devoted to the intersection of educational, cultural, and agricultural exchanges. It is the only artist-led space in the Southern West Bank providing arts education and residency programs for both Palestinians and Internationals, operating across visual arts, sound, cinema, performance, dance, literature, and agriculture. Dar Jacir is located on the historic Hebron-Jerusalem road — a thoroughfare for centuries — only recently cut by the Israeli Apartheid wall. Bethlehem today is surrounded by 21 Israeli settlements and all its agricultural lands have been confiscated. Situated in the most tear-gassed place on earth, 200 meters from the Israeli watch tower and meters away from the wall, Dar Jacir strives to protect the architectural and agricultural heritage of our ancestors while creating new works and visions towards the future.
This program extends this question which I posted in 2017: “What plants resist (or could possibly survive) daily tear gas exposure?” to the house, our terraces, our street, our neighborhood and ourselves. The projects in this program are varied and include farming, agriculture, agroecology, choreography, and music. The works engage with notions of foodways, farming as a human right, land as a source of joy and ritual practice, food and land appropriation, sovereignty, permaculture, hospitality and indigenous struggles. It looks at practices of healing and repairing the land and ourselves. As Palestinians are not allowed to move freely within their own country and or travel to their own villages and cities, it also strives to keep the fabric of the community active and connected across the lands. The program aims to foster dialogues with other places by reactivating shared exchanges, histories and links.
Revolutionary Letter #7 includes the following projects:
Preserve is a project by Baha Hilo, focusing on preserving and repairing the Dar Jacir olive terrace after Israeli occupation forces broke into and raided the premises.
Wherever You Sow the Grain, the Grain Grows is a choreographic and musical piece led by Andrea De Siena and Luca Rossi. Created collectively with local participants, it is a response to the agrarian, musical and dance traditions of Bethlehem.
Ardawaء by permaculture designer, activist, and educator Mohammed Saleh, explores the possibility of bringing the land (Ard) the remediation (Dawaa’) that it longs for.
Paessagio Umano is a series of concerts, a workshop, a performance and a song led by Andrea De Siena, Luca Rossi, Laura Esposito and Emily Jacir.
Insurgent Memories: Decolonizing the History of Palestine is an interactive workshop led by Saad Amira
Funeral Food (working title) by Shaima Hamad is a project focusing on Palestinian funerary foods.
— Emily Jacir
The projects below are ongoing and will continue to be updated here: