About this Event
The Memory and Resistance Laboratory will stage a collective reading of Mahmoud Darwish’s Memory for Forgetfulness on the campus of UC Riverside on October 25th, 2023. Memory for Forgetfulness is a series of prose poems Darwish wrote to reflect on the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the visceral experience of being in Beirut while it is under siege. By performing a collective reading of this work, we hope to bring nuance and complexity to current events where a long history of Israel’s occupation, apartheid, and intentional ethnic cleansing of Palestine is being silenced, forgotten, and erased by most journalistic, governmental, and popular discourse. Darwish’s work returns this complexity through a reflection on the invasion and its political and historical dimensions, a journey into personal and collective memory, an interrogation of the meaning of exile, and questions concerning writing, memory, and forgetting. With this reading of Darwish’s work, we collectively gather to grieve, mourn, and hold space for stillness during a moment that feels both destructive and impossible. By inhabiting this text collectively, we also practice the Palestinian ethos of sumud which can be translated from Arabic as steadfastness, tenacity, and resilience. Sumud is the determination to remain despite the severity of the circumstances. It is a defiant and courageous commitment to refuse being forced off one’s homeland even as your loved ones are being killed and your home is turned to rubble. Sumud is the core of Palestinian resistance. Prior to this event of the collective reading, we will screen a short film entitled Gaza Before the Law and hold a literary reading of meital yaniv’s forthcoming book, bloodlines. The event will end by planting an olive tree on campus.
Virtual witnessing of the event is possible through Zoom. You must register for the event using an email address associated with a valid Zoom account.