Manam Haifa: 1 – 14 November 2014 Group Exhibition ACA - Arab Culture Association
Manam (Dream) - “Ha j: Don’t you see the horses carrying soldiers in the sky? - Woman 1: They landed on earth and were transformed into green and brown roosters; they started to fight each other. - Old Man: They are fighting each other so as to liberate Palestine. - Woman 2: Like Cain and Abel. Al-Manam, documentary film by Muhammad Malas, 1987
The personal Palestinian narrative often blurs the boundaries between reality, dreams, and illusions. The exhibition "Manam" is an attempt to document an alternative Palestine, one which lives in people's minds; it is an attempt to recreate a motherland in spite of the harsh reality that surrounds us. The title of this exhibition was inspired by Syrian director Mohamad Malas' the film Al-Manam , which was filmed in 1980-1981, just before the infamous massacre in Sabra and Shatila. The film, which was partially made in these two refugee camps, was not released until 1987. The film Al-Manam is composed of a collection of interviews with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon during the civil war there. Malas himself interviewed women and children, elderly people and militants, , asking them about the dreams they dream at night. By means of these dreams, the film attempts to explore the unconscious of the Palestinian refugees. There is a difference between imagining a thing's existence and between acquiescing to its truth. In the case of acquiescence, the narrative is not only entertained by the mind, but is held to constitute a reality. Belief is thus the mental state or function of creating a reality. 'Belief' thus represents the highest degree of certainty and conviction.
This exhibition examines the Palestinian mana, by exploring the dreams of individuals Whose memories of Palestine and longing for it have seeped into and shaped their nocturnal dreams. The line between reality and illusion are blurred in the unconscious to the point that when these dreams are narrated, it is almost impossible to discern whether they tell of a real or an imagined reality.As Carl Jung writes, "In everyday life one thinks out what one wants to say, selects the most telling way of saying it, and tries to make one's remarks logically coherent […] dreams have a different texture. Images that seem contradictory and ridiculous crowd in on the dreamer, the normal sense of time is lost, and commonplace things can assume a fascinating or threatening aspect [...] It may seem strange that the unconscious mind should order its material so differently from the seemingly disciplined pattern that we can impose on our thoughts in waking life. Yet anyone who stops for a moment to recall a dream will be aware of this contrast, which is in fact one of the main reasons why the ordinary person finds dreams so hard to understand. They do not make sense in terms of his normal waking experience, and therefore he is inclined either to disregard them or to confess that they baffle him [...]”
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