During the first phase of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine (1947-1949) – the original Nakba – 418 Palestinian villages were depopulated. 70% were razed to the ground. A handful remain relatively intact but the original inhabitants are forbidden to return. During this period around 750 000 Palestinians became refugees – 54% of the population.
When Israel occupied the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967, more villages were destroyed, more Palestinians were expelled from their lands, and the refugee camps became more cramped.
1948 is remembered as the year of the Nakba. But it is not something that can be attributed to the past; for Palestinians the catastrophe continues.
The endless construction and growth of illegal settlements all over the West Bank means that Palestinians are losing their land, their homes, and are subject to violent attacks. The population of Gaza is imprisoned and massacred. Palestinians are living without a clean, constant water supply, suffer repression from the Israeli military, and are separated from their families by check points, prison sentences, and the wall. The Nakba continues everyday.
This project is about remembering: remembering the history that has been denied, and remembering the injustice that is happening right now. Remembering Britain’s historic complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and our role in upholding this system today.