The article explores how a number of artists have employed the counter/actual as a form of past-talk in a conscious intervention into socio-political and ethical issues arising from the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I argue that such uses of the counter/actual more effectively foreground the injustices arising from the occupation while not only problematising the process of representation but also deconstructing the ways in which histories are intimately intertwined with relations of power and practises of legitimisation; they do not simply reproduce “the (f)actual” but work to repossess the past from the dominance of hegemonic interests.
Hadjithomas, Joana, and Khalil Joreige Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Summer, Autumn, Winter … and Spring. Conversations with Artists from the Arab World ed. Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath (Milan: Skira, 2014), 66–77.
Handel, Ariel. “Exclusionary surveillance and spatial uncertainty in the occupied Palestinian territories.” In Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine: population territory, and power. Edited by Elia Zureik, David Lyon and Yasmeen Abu-Laban. London: Routledge, 2011. 259–275.
Tucker, Aviezer. “Historiographical Counterfactuals and Historical Contingency.” History and Theory 38/2 (1999): 264–276.
Van de Mieroop, Kenan. “Historical Presents: A Study of the Debates Around Reparations for Slavery in the United States and France, the Post Racial Era and the Age of Commemoration.” PhD diss., University of Ghent, 2015.