For hundreds and thousands of years, the natural landscape we lived in in Palestine was a terrain of enchantment. The natural water source - spring, well, stream – was such a terrain, inhabited by spirits, good and bad. I like to refer to such waters as spirited sites. The knowledge of this spiritedness was nurtured through a rich oral tradition, and folk tales constituted a large part of this oral history tradition.
I begin with Eye will investigate the role of folk tales as an empowerment device; empowering people, and people affected by conflict in particular. Moving back and forth through time – past and present – the research will traverse three main periods across the broader historic Levant - giving an overview of the historical, political, and cultural landscape of Palestine - while also recounting my own biographical relation to the oral history tradition. Acknowledging the Arabic word for water source ‘Ein / Eye, I will juxtapose the eye of sight with source of water and will share the corelation between witnessing and bearing witness, particularly amidst contested landscapes, where tripling erasure measures have displaced a people and their memory, re-altering their connection to story also.
My practice-led doctoral research will reactivate folkloric practice through collaborative and creative workshop methodologies; through storytelling performances, drawing and crafts; using such tools to rewrite the tales as a gesture of reclaim and reunion with water, and in order to situate our connectedness to story heritage once more.