Pasternak, Gil (2010) “The Brownies in Palestina”: Politicising Geographies in Family Photographs. In: Emerging Landscapes: Between Production and Representation, June 2010, University of Westminster, London. (Submitted)

Preserving cultural, historical and human landscape was a role officially assigned to the medium of photography when its invention was first reported to the people of France in 1839. At the turn of the twentieth-century the Kodak commercial campaign for its $1 Brownie camera further cemented this role, channelling individual subjects to participate in landscaping and inducing the nuclear family to partake in the production of geographical knowledge within the domestic sphere.

This paper takes issue with the production of domestic familial knowledge of the geographical terrain of the modern state of Israel since 1948 to the present day. It focuses on pictures taken from family albums showing Israeli subjects captured in a landscape that is concurrently perceived as representing the Palestinian as well as the Jewish-Israeli peoples, and that for this reason is simultaneously their space of succour and displacement. Introducing and investigating Palestinian and Israeli historical accounts of the modern state’s ideological reorganisation of landscape, as well as the theorisation of vernacular photography, I show how such photographs bring forth images that confront both the Zionist Geographical Imagination and the physical landscape the Zionist project has fabricated, extending and altering its available regimes of representation

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